The Bloom Is Not A Bloom

for 5 male voices
Year of composition:
Vocal group TTBBB
5 min
Commissioned by:
Stavanger Chamber Music Festival
2008-08-17, Tou Scene

The Bloom is not a Bloom
Bai Juyi

Character by character, the Chinese poem reads:

Bloom not bloom mist not mist
Night half come heaven bright go
Come like spring dream how long time?
Go like morning cloud not find place

Which gives, translated into English grammar:

The bloom is not a bloom, the mist not mist,
At midnight she comes, and goes again at dawn.
She comes like a spring dream- how long will she stay?
She goes like morning cloud, without a trace.

The Bloom poem


The occasion for this commission was Nils Henrik Asheim's engagement as Composer in Residence (Festivalkomponist) for the Stavanger International Chamber Music Festival.

The piece was written and premiered by The Hilliard Ensemble.