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A Piece of Watermelon

six musicians, female voice

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Specifications
Region
North America (Canada - USA)
Estimated Duration
16 - 20min
Date
2019

ISMN : 979-0-2325-4877-7

Notes on this piece
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“A Piece of Watermelon” (艳阳天) is derived from a homonymic short story I wrote several years ago. In that story, the protagonist, a pornographic filmmaker, is producing a new piece with an actress. Somehow, she reminds him of a girl he loved earlier in his life during a political incident. His mind starts uncontrollably tracing back to the past. Love and politics interweave, creating unstoppable tides inside of him. He releases the team, decides to face all the memories alone.
 
In this piece, the two themes, love and politics, are treated separately. I composed a poem derived from the love part of the original short story and set as the main lyrics. Words from the political part in the story are deliberately retaken and reordered in a wrong way. The phrases are grammatically erroneous and to be seemingly unreadable. In the piece, the love part is mostly for the singer and the political part is spoken and whispered by the other musicians. Everyone in this piece is making voice sound to be mixed with the instrumental sound.
 
Lyrics:
 
''A Piece of Watermelon''
 
1 (use in Movement 2)
 
A bathroom with an aeroplane model inside
A pair of wings with hairs
Murmuring
 
I like you when you talk
Your words become my pills.
 
You tell me that
There will be a man with a mask
Breaking the door
Making love with the airoplane model
 
That man, you say
Knows how to fly.
 
2 (use in Movement 3)
 
You will die
At one day, not too soon.
I know it
But I’m not going to tell you.
 
When I kiss you
Your face is as cold as a sunny dream.
I can feel my lips are
As warm as an abandoned church.
 
3 (use in Movement 4)
 
You plan to leave
To the outland world.
 
Your wings
Shimmering, like empty wine bottles.
A few feathers drop down
Becoming my clothes
 
4 (use in Movement 6)
 
Goodbye
I will never see your crow’s feet.
It once obsessed me
Between those narrow streets
And all the white houses.
 
Everything will remain the same.
Everything will stay unchanged.
The masked man is gone
And you are the most beautiful song upon all aged songs.
 
5 (use in Movement 7)
 
The beam pierces my curtain
Burns my flat
And sets me free.
The first beam of the last light
Reminds me of you.
 
I turn off the lamps.
Thousands of lamps
Disintegrate, like our dusty history.
 
A knife
Breaks your beauty
I drink all the memories floating in time.
 
A nice gift for a sorrowful morning
A piece of watermelon.
 
Now I know how to fly.
Instrumentation
Flute
Clarinet
Percussions
Piano
Violin
Cello
Female voice (unspecified)
Recording
Live recording by Syntax Ensemble with Pasquale Corrado (conductor)
Score Details
Format - A3 / Tabloid
Pages - 66


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