Sharawadgi (Gracious disorder) (Peter Bird)

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  • (Posted 2018-03-25)   CPDL #49151:       
Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2018-03-25).   Score information: Letter, 55 pages, 1.92 MB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Piano and flute parts follow the full score in the PDF file. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Sharawadgi (Gracious disorder)
Composer: Peter Bird
Lyricist: Chi K’ang, Li Ling, anonymous, Chan Fang-sheng, T’ao Ch’ien; tr. Arthur Waleycreate page

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularCantata

Language: English
Instruments: Piano and flute

First published: 2017

Description: A cantata of 5 choral songs, accompanied by piano and flute. Total length about 18 minutes.

External websites: http://peterbird.name/choral/

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Daoist song (Chi K’ang, 223-262 AD; tr. Arthur Waley [1918])
I will cast out Wisdom and reject Learning.
My thoughts shall wander in the Great Void.
Always repenting of wrongs done
will never bring my heart to rest.
I cast my hook into a single stream,
but joy as if I owned the land!
I will loose’ my hair and go singing;
to the four frontiers all join my song.
This is the message of my tune:
“My thoughts shall wander in the Great Void.”

2. Parting from Su Wu (Li Ling, d. 74 AD; tr. Arthur Waley [1918])
This special time will never come again.
In moments now—our parting will be over.
Anxiously—we halt at the road-side.
Hesitating—embrace where fields begin.
The clouds above are floating ‘cross the sky;
they swiftly, swiftly pass; or blend as one.
The waves of wind are drifting out of place;
they roll away, each to a different Heaven.
And so with us—so long to be apart!
So, let us stop again a little while.
If I could ride on wings of morning wind
I’d go with you, unto your journey’s end.

3. Old poem (anonymous, 1st c. BC?; tr. Arthur Waley [1918])
At fifteen I went with the army.
At fourscore I came back.
On the way I met a man from the village;
I asked him who was left at home.
“That, over there, is your house,
all covered over with trees and brush.”
Rabbits ran in at the dog-hole;
Pheasants flew down from the roofbeams.
In the courtyard was wild grain,
and by the well, some wild mallows.
I’ll boil the grain to make a porridge.
I’ll pluck the mallows to make soup.
Soup and porridge are both cooked,
but no one’s here to eat them with.
I went out and looked to the east,
while tears fell and wet my clothes.

4. Sailing homeward (Chan Fang-sheng, 4th c. AD; tr. Arthur Waley [1918])
Cliffs that rise a thousand feet
without a break;
Lakes that stretch a hundred miles
without a wave;
Sands are white through all the year,
without a stain;
Pine woods, winter and summer
ever-green;
Streams that forever flow and flow
without a pause;
Trees that for twenty thousand years
your vows have kept:
You have healed the pain of a traveler’s heart,
and moved his brush to write a song.

5. I built my hut (T’ao Ch’ien, 365-427 AD; tr. Arthur Waley [1918])
I built my hut in town and by a road,
yet hear no noise of passing horse and coach.
Do you know how that came to be?
A heart that’s free creates a wilderness.
I pluck chrysanthemums at the eastern hedge,
Then gaze long at the distant summer hills.
The mountain air is fresh at dusk of day;
The flying birds now two by two return.
These things enfold a meaning that is deep;
Yet when we speak of it, words fail.