The Animal Carnival, a song cycle for Soprano and Piano
Instrumentation: Soprano and Piano
Text: The Book of Songs (200 B.C.)
Duration: 15 minutes
The Book of Songs is a collection of Chinese ancient poems and folk songs dating back to 200 B.C. This translation by Arthur Waley (1889-1966) was originally published in the Ancient Chinese Classic of Poetry, London: Allen & Unwin, 1937. Rev. ed. New York: Grove Press, 1987.
These songs are not here to convey my political opinion of my adopted country. They are here to make you angry. They cry from the struggle which echoes from over two thousand years ago. The ancient voice of a grieving spirit in the second poem carves a hole on my heart.
I carefully chose these three poems from The Book of Songs, which is a collection of Chinese folk songs dating back to 200 B.C. Big Rat accuses high taxes; Mayfly grieves the loss of a loved one; while Wild-Geese confronts the suffering caused by war. They ring as true today as they did two thousand years ago.
I call this song cycle THE ANIMAL CARNIVAL, to “make mischief and rebel.