Seasons of Basho

May 12th, 2015 (premiere)

Meisel Gallery in NYC

Eric Brenner, countertenor
Paul Dwyer, cello & Alexandria Le, piano (of The Colonials)

“Meyer is a talented composer…reaching for something new and unknown…(the) vocal setting captured some of the existential loneliness at the core of the poems.”

New York Classical Review


In this piece, I took the enchanting haiku of master Matsuo Basho and sequenced the translated text in a way that narrates an age-old story of discovery, infatuation, loss, and loneliness using the unique combination of countertenor, cello, and piano. Basho’s poetry is deeply rooted in nature, and I used the cyclical changing of the seasons as a metaphor for the highs and lows of obsessive love.

“Seasons of Basho” was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with Funds provided by the Jerome Foundation, and my deepest thanks to the Colonials for commissioning the work. There is also an arrangement available for viola, and any female High Voice can perform the work instead of countertenor.




Won’t you come
and see loneliness?
Just one leaf from the Kiri tree

With plum blossom scent
this sudden sun emerges
along a mountain trail

Lead my pony
across this wide moor to where
the cuckoo sings



Mogami River,
yanking the burning sky
into the sea

A lightning gleam:
into darkness travels
a night heron’s scream

Summer moon –
clapping hands,
I herald dawn



Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
this desolate moor

Grabbing at straws
the strength to bear
our parting

Taken in my hand
it will vanish in hot tears
autumn frost



Winter solitude
in a world of one color
the sound of wind

On the polished surface
Of the divine glass,
Chaste with flowers of snow

Years end,
all corners of this
floating world, swept