MUSIC AND WORDS FROM SONGS
Songs from a Jade Garden
Ten short songs for soprano, string trio, piano and narrator; also for soprano, tenor, flute, violin, cello and piano, or soprano and piano. Premiered at St. Peter's Church, New York, NY (2003); Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, NY (2004); Music at Emmanuel, Whitestone, NY (2004); and WMP Concert Hall, New York, NY in collaboration with Chamber 16 (2011).
No. 1 – In Search of Orchids (Sung Yu)
White autumn and black winter have passed.
Traveling treacherous roads as flying dust
On the highway to Phoenix Court!
Mulberry scent in green wood spring,
Taunting senses, searching for delicate, sweet orchids.
All still their picking; all but one meet my gaze.
For I am Sung Yu!
Dancing fingertips pick sweet mulberry bright leaves
Swaying from her slender waist,
Robes flowing across rich, red lotus hips.
Unyielding, she does not look my way.
Ha! I have no patience for unwinding
Tightly bound seven color sashes!
Flying on mulberry scent,
I shall walk the narrow lane.
Notes For "In Search of Orchids"
 To be caught up in a whirl of political activity as a minister at the Imperial Court
 Seven color sash was woven for a spring festival of seven colors and showed the a young woman was eligible for marriage
 “Narrow lane” refers to the area of the city where brothels would be located.
No. 2 – An Old Proverb (Meng Chu)
It is more painful to meet a minister
Than to become bitter twisted dogwood.
It's more becoming to meet a minister
Than to be a course-cloth cocoon!
It is superior to be Only Wife
Than Concubine or Singing Girl.
It is best to be free of such decisions!
Here is what Meng Chu believes:
Being deaf to arrogant lord's pleas
insures progress as a Singing Girl
And perhaps Only Wife!
Notes For "An Old Proverb"
 Working as a mulberry girl is not as desirable as marrying a lord (minister)
 “Singing Girl” could be either strictly a performer or a courtesan. A courtesan also would be a performer as part of her job.