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Guanyin-Folk Song by Li Tai-Hsiang (觀音-李泰祥)

I.    Lyrics (translated from Chinese)

The mild and beautiful Guanyin has been sleeping.
In sparsely arranged candle sticks, her sleeping position is a black shied of dream.
I furtively go under her hairs and angle for fish.
On every star in a distant place, there is heavy snow everywhere.

Lyrics written by Lo Chih-Cheng (羅智成)


Tang Hsiao-Shih (唐曉詩)

II.    About this Song

Theme of the Work:
When I was composing the music, I tried to create it with different composition syntax; after I finished the song, I thought I failed. Instead of real objects, Guanyin is to discuss scenes, and the discussion contains high conceptions of Zen. I had avant-garde thought, but I used very simple methods. A simple tonality and the cooperation of a cappella with the accompaniment of Jazz drum were used to complete the song’s structure.

Summary / Story:
Before recording Guanyin, Mr. Kuo, Chung-Chao practiced Bass for a full day. But in the last second at the recording studio, Bass part was removed; instead, piano was used to enhance the aura and stress the simple melody in the whole song. In order to accomplish initial ideas, the tune has no special ups and downs, and the tonality is insisted to be non-complicated.

III.    Manuscript

Copied earliest voice manuscript of “Guanyin in F minor”
Handwritten manuscript of “Guanyin in D minor” for voice and piano


To view the story of Li Tai-Hsiang, please go to Li Tai-Hsiang, the Native Musician of Taiwan.

Text and images are provided by The Native Musician of Taiwan-Tai-Hsiang Li Digital Archive, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan