How the Blossoms are Falling

Program Notes:

Commissioned from Vancouver composer and conductor Ramona Luengen by Elektra on the occasion of the late Diane Loomer’s retirement as founding Co-Director in 2009, the text for this evocative piece is Forgiveness from Woman in the Woods, A Garden of Anchors – Selected poems by Joy Kogawa. Both poem and music capture and revere the bittersweet, inevitable and natural evolution of life through the lens of a garden of fruit trees.

Conductor Notes:

Vancouver composer and choral conductor Ramona Luengen is known for her lyrical, rich and substantial choral writing. Vocal lines and tessituras are well-crafted and satisfying to sing, requiring vocal and musical maturity. This beautiful composition was premiered in 2009 at Diane Loomer’s retirement as Co-Director of Elektra. The text is by Joy Kogawa, a Japanese-Canadian writer, in the setting of an orchard, where blossoms and fruit signify the changing of seasons and bittersweet memories. The piece is in two sections, the first a cappella with overlapping lines, and the second with piano and more use of unison. Obviously the challenge is to keep the pitch throughout the first two minutes of singing. Elektra loves singing this work, and audiences are moved by its reflective, emotional qualities. Because of the text, this is probably better sung by adults than children.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.





Text: “Forgiveness” by Joy Kogawa from Woman in the Woods P. 140 A Garden of Anchors – Selected poems by Joy Kogawa Not included here for copyright reasons.