About the piece...

T'ao Ch'ien: Selected Verses for Chamber Choir and Percussion
a cappella version (1998, 2000)
percussion accompaniment (2002)

T'ao Ch'ien, also known as T'ao Yüan-Ming, 365–427 C.E., lived as a recluse in a farming village on the Yangtze River and is considered one of China's foremost poets in the five-word shih style. He has been described as the first great poet of t'ien-yüan ("fields and gardens"). His poems, written with simple diction in contrast to the elaborate style of the period, explore Taoist and Buddhist ideas, praise Confucian ideals, and express contentment in reading, music, and wine. Born into an impoverished gentry family, he took a minor official post in his early 20s to support his parents. He resigned from official life about 10 years later, repulsed by its excessive formality and widespread corruption. He retired to a farming village south of the Yangtze and was content to write poetry and cultivate his vineyard.

Translations of "After an Ancient Poem", "Wine Stop" and "Untitled" are by David Hinton. "This tree will be here for a thousand years" was translated by Robert Bly.

3 PERCUSSION
Glockenspiel
Vibraphone
Chimes
Marimba
2 Triangles (High & Low)
Mark Tree
3 Suspended Cymbals (High, Medium & Low)
3 Chinese Gongs* (Small, Medium, Large)
Tam-tam
Ratchet
Temple Blocks
2 Wood Blocks (High & Low)
Bamboo Wind Chimes
Tom-toms
Bass Drum

* If unavailable, may substitute heavy aluminum kitchen bowls (8", 10" & 12") played with medium yarn mallets.