Dragon Harmonies, Folk Songs
The Conservatory students—trained to
Western violins, pianos, rhythms—
descend upon the country every year
to listen to China, to bring back songs
missed by last year’s class. Does that rural face
half-hidden by a sweat rag, itself hide
one unusual melody? If you
tip over an upright hinterland stool
does it resound continentally, or
only clatter like a chair stumbled into
in the dormitory dark? Tough old wood,
and sly, the root below the Western graft
is a challenge to tap, brew, distill.
Was at a concert Saturday, a chamber group presenting a program blending Western and Chinese music. There were some questions for the composers, and this poem evolved from one of the responses. But don’t blame the artist.
A fine time was had.