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Life in Every Breath


(for Trio / 7‘)

Pan Flute - Viola - Percussion

- Written for & performed by Ensemble Black Pencil -

- Performed by Aniek van Oosterom, Lotte Grotholt, David Kuijken. -

Life In Every BreathBlack Pencil Ensemble
00:00 / 07:37

Behind the Title

The phrase ‘’Life in every breath’’ is a saying we could find in Bushido. The word ‘’Bushido’’ is a Japanese term meaning ‘’the way of the warrior’’ which represents the samurai culture. Of course, Bushido is a very complex and fascinating understanding which contains many different layers, but for this piece I am only going to concentrate on a single part; Life in every breath.


    First of all, I’m going to talk about some possible outcomes from this saying. When we process the idea, we initially think of the literal and most general meaning: There is a life in every single breath we take and we should appreciate this life. We can see this thinking very often in far eastern cultures; especially we usually encounter with this in religion. However, there is another angle we can look at this idea that there is a life in every single thing that surrounds our body. For instance, in Japanese culture; every sakura flower (cherry blossom) has a life worthy of appreciating. Of course, we should consider this as an appreciation of life and its beauty instead of some religious pressure or a compulsive ideology.


    In this piece, I approached this phrase by thinking the second meaning. As a result, I wanted to reflect the beauty in simplicity by music. In my opinion, panpipes is a very interesting and effective instrument for that purpose, because of its smooth air and wood tones. And I tried to use very minimal amount of percussion instruments in order to emphasize the beauty in simplicity. 


    What we can understand from this piece is an appreciation for our surroundings and find life in every breath of music.

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