for two sopranos bells and prayer bowls
Text by Wang Duanshu (1621-1706), translated by Beata Grant
premiered November 1, 2015
Anne Harley, Stacey Fraser sopranos
Garrison Theater, Claremont, California
“Thinking of Elder Sister Zhen” is setting of 17th Chinese poet Wang Duanshu. She speaks here of the departure of her sister Wang Jingshu, who was leaving home to join a community of nuns. She imagines the beauty of Jingshu’s travels, including the once-in-thousands-of-years blossoming of the Udambara tree, The “Triple Realm” she refers to is of desire, form and formlessness, realms to be conquered through her religious practice.
She departs on her little boat, a witness to the dharma;
– Wang Duanshu (1621-1706), translated by Beata Grant.