A little behind the scenes action. Celebrated opera singer Hermione Wu joins our composer Howard Davidson to record a poem written by Li Qingzhao, an 11th Century poet for the Story of China soundtrack. Li Qingzhao was traveling to Dong Lai, where her husband had just taken a new official post. She was around 38 years of age. Penglai is a magical island where immortals live.
Here’s the translation of the poem, ‘A Farewell Letter to my Sisters’
Tears stain my silk robe with rouge and powder, as the song of farewell is repeated, thousands of times over.
I’m told the going is hard over these endless ranges of mountains that block the view.
In my lonely lodge I listen all night to the patter of the rain.
Regrets at parting drive my mind to distraction: I forget how full I filled your cups as I bade you adieu.
Be sure to send word when the wild geese pass.
After all Dong Lai is not so far off as Peng Lai.