Blue upon blue

Blue upon blue takes its title from the end of the poem appended to case 20 in the famous Zen case book, HEKINGANROKU by the monk Setcho:

Beautiful the evening clouds, endless the distant hills, blue upon blue, range upon range.

Two pieces of music share the same space: the one a simple modal tune, the other, equally simple gestures of wood and gut. They both share the same player, the same instrument. Blue lasts just seven minutes, and was commissioned in 1990 by Belinda Webster for the fine Australian cellist, David Pereira. It was our first collaboration for solo cello; in 1992 I composed the cello concerto, A Garden of Earthly Delights, for David and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.