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writing ‘raindrops keep dancing…’ 

by Emily Hazrati

excerpt from the finished score

As a recorder player myself, I was over the moon to be working with Julien and to really get stuck into writing for the voice flute. 

My first inspiration came from Footsteps of Water [translated] by Iranian poet and painter Sohrab Sepehri (1928–1980):

“My soul has nothing to do 
it counts the raindrops 
in the cracks of the brickwork”

This extract from the poem struck me for its intimacy and focus on a microscopic encounter with the natural world. I was absorbed by the image of raindrops trickling between the bricks in a dance-like motion, and by the notion of a lost soul finding delight in these movements. 

Sohrab Sepehri
UNTITLED, c. 1960

The culmination of these thoughts – ‘raindrops keep dancing…’ – takes the listener through a lively, eccentric collage of raindrop sounds. The music never quite settles on one idea, instead opting for a continual state of searching.

For Julien, Thomas, and I, it was particularly important that the material existed between the voice flute and piano on an equal level. Rather than treating the instruments as binaries, we wanted to create a fluid space in which the raindrops could truly be felt as a shared entity. 

Julien’s interest in the recorder music of Japanese composer Ryohei Hirose (1930–2008) also resonated with me when creating this piece. Hirose’s music is deeply spiritual and was a vital inspiration for the more meditative sections of the piece. This too links back to Footsteps of Water, where Sepehri finds spirituality through the beauty of nature.

Listen to raindrops keep dancing… performed by Julien Harman-Evans and Thomas Ang below.

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