Whenever I play Sakura Variations people ask me how to get the recording. So I put it on CD, together with Bellefleur by Pieter van der Staak
Sakura (cherry blossom) is a Japanese icon and can be found everywhere. In art, on placemats, in literature and in music. The folksong Sakura has numerous versions. Yuquijiro Yocoh composed variations on the Sakura theme and so created a beautiful solo piece; fragile, festive and very Japanese.
Bellefleur was written by the Dutch composer Pieter van der Staak. It’s a happy as well as melancholic tune and I find it a perfect fit with the meditative Sakura.
The artwork of the cd shows a fragment of a painting by Dutch painter Hennie van der Vegt. The cd comes with a hook so you can hang your miniature van der Vegt.
Next to a weather forecast the Japanese Meteorological Agency also provides a blossom forecast: the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) to which the Japanese pay close attention for their flower-viewing parties in parks, shrines and temples. The custom dates back many centuries. Japan is full of cherry trees. When the wind starts to play with the blossom, the leaves form large, pink clouds.
Hennie van der Vegt
Dutch painter Hennie van der Vegt is more or less intertwined with ‘my’ Sakura. I performed it at his open studio, just after most of his work went up into flames. He painted the cover of the CD. I want to combine his work with mine but I am still looking for a way to realize that. In the meantime, there is a new Sakura connection: Franz van Siebold. More soon.