I composed this piece in June 2014 after being commissioned by the Tomioka City Board of Education to write a piece inspired by the Tomioka Silk Mill in Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture, to commemorate its registration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The piece was premiered by the Tomioka City Wind Ensemble in August of the same year.
The piece comprises four sections, starting with a slow introduction inspired by the cultural enlightenment as part of the modernization of Japan during the Meiji era, which is followed by a fast section with triplets that seeks to depict Western silkreeling technology and the Western songs sung in mills that were introduced to Japan for the very first time during that period. Although I had written the piece with Western melodies instead of Japanese ones up to this point, the following slow section features a song sung by women working in the mills as they spun yarn, which accelerates at the part where the lyrics "itoguruma" (spinning wheel) are sung. Performers are advised to play the subsequent brass fanfare with a magnificent flourish while keeping these lyrics in mind.
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