xi's moments
Home | Music & Theater

Poetry emotions

By Zhao Xu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-12 08:31

American composer Nicholas Bentz [Photo provided to China Daily]

To the question, whether he has an analog in mind while composing, Bentz answers with a decisive no. "I wanted to get as close to the source as possible and let the poem stand on its own legs," he says. "So I tried to immerse myself in the aesthetics and used it as a filter through which I could express."

To do that, he has looked beyond the English prose translations and focused on the original text. "You definitely get the images in the English translation, but unless you are really going character by character, you don't understand how those images unfold, how the characters are relating to each other, and which ones can be separated from the line and repeated without muddling or distorting the meaning," he says.

The composer says he believes that all the vocalists were up to their task on Saturday night, with their touching renditions that ranged from passionately ardent, to mightily brooding. One of them is Phoebe Haines, who first went to China in 2016 following a successful audition for iSING! at New York's Juilliard School, where the Londoner was studying privately with a teacher.

"To prepare us, both Mr Tian and Katherine have spoken a lot about each individual poet, their life and how they contributed to the art form. We also did a lot of work around the set formats of Tang poetry, whereby a piece typically contains four or eight lines, each made up of five or seven characters," she says. "They really went into granular detail.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349