A Lawn in the Sky
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"A Lawn in the Sky" is a musical drama in two acts on a libretto by Katherine Hollander. The piece is based on the true story of Lieutenant Onoda Hiroo, a Japanese "straggler" who refused to believe that Japan had surrendered in World War II and continued to wage guerilla warfare in the jungles of the Philippines until 1974. The librettist constructed this fictionalized account drawing from information in newspaper articles and Onoda's memoir, No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War. While both Ms. Hollander and I referred to these historical sources, the story is a work of fiction, including a total cast of nine characters, several purely fictional. These roles are supported by an ensemble of Western instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, percussion, piano, and contrabass; Japanese instruments: nohkan, shamisen, and taiko; and fixed media electronics. This mixed ensemble parallels the characters' divergent views of reality and offers opportunities for multidimensional commentary on both the libretto and the story. Included with this document is a supplemental zip file which contains the audio samples and sample players for the electronic portion of the score.