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台灣速寫

Sketch of Taiwan
(A lullaby for Taiwan)
for SATB a cappella choir
(2007)

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For me, the poem "Sketch of Taiwan" by Han-Hsiu Lu creates images not only of Taiwan's natural beauty, but also of pure and youthful innocence. In particular, certain lines bring to mind the image of a new young mother gently rocking and singing to her restless child - as if Taiwan is precious, delicate and in need of careful nurturing. While these may not be the exact images Mr. Lu had in mind, he has at least agreed to let me use the subtitle "A Lullaby for Taiwan" and these are the images that informed the writing of this music.

The opening of this piece has a gently rocking accompaniment idea sung by the tenor and bass parts with a quasi folk-like melody sung above it. Extrapolating on the poetry, this is meant to create an image of Taiwan as a small vessel being rocked by gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean. Similar music then reappears at the end of the piece, but there it is used to create the peaceful and consoling feeling of a mother's lullaby. In between, the music's character changes somewhat as different aspects of Taiwan's natural beauty are portrayed.

This piece was commissioned for a special concert commemorating the lifting of martial law in Taiwan, and was premiered by the Kaohsiung Municipal High School Alumni Choir, conducted by Hui-Rong Gao.

Performance duration ca. 5'45".