Unbearable Pain and Watery Eyes

Unbearable Pain and Watery Eyes (2012)
for Violin, Percussion and Piano

Award:
Selected work in the 32nd Asian Composers League Conference and Festival in Tokyo, Japan (2014)
Selected work in the final round of the Eighth Thailand International Composition Competition (2012)

Instrumentation:
Violin, Percussion (Vibraphone, 3 Tom-Toms, Snare Drum, Bass Drum), and Piano

World Premiere:
July 14, 2012
The Eighth Thailand International Composition Festival
Music Auditorium (MACM Hall), College of Music, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
Charatmanat Lertsukon, violin; Anusorn Prabnongbua, percussion; Pasatorn Stieniti, piano

Duration: 9 minutes

Program Notes

Selected to participate in the Amy Feldman Bermon Composer Project of the Hartt School, I compose Unbearable Pain and Watery Eyes for violin, percussion and piano.  It is my pleasure to have this piece performed and read by the California EAR Unit on March 11, 2012.

Returning to Taiwan from the United States for the winter break 2011-2012, I witnessed my father’s suffering unbearable pain due to lung cancer.  While feeling extremely sad, I am also very proud of my father who has been fighting against cancer for more than three years.  When his doctor announced that the cancer had spread to his whole body and he could not be cured by any further medical treatment, my mother, my sister and I were first shocked and then very distressed.  We asked the doctors to reduce my father’s suffering to a minimum when counting down his final days.  All we can do for him is to be with him as much as possible and stay strong in the face of death.  Although it is impossible for my father to get any better, we all know that he has not yet given up and is still fighting very hard against the disease that wears him away daily.  When I was back with him during this winter break, I sometimes saw tears in my father’s eyes when he was suffering and knew that he was trying very hard to bear the unbearable pain caused by cancer.

As a composer, I can only resort to music to record the suffering my father has been undergoing.  Unbearable Pain and Watery Eyes is a piece of music full of doom and gloom, while some light of hope still shines through dismay and despair.  Two contrasting sections are unconnected and alternated with each other.  I called these two sections “unbearable pain” and “watery eyes”.  Although these two sections develop on their own and seem separate, they are intertwined with each other.  For me, tears indicate the power to bear the unbearable pain and the precious glimmer in the dark.

I would like to dedicate this piece to my dearest father.  Without his wholehearted support, I would not have the heart to compose music at all.

P.S. My father has passed away peacefully at 1:20AM (GMT+8) on February 17, 2012.   I love him forever.

This is the world premiere recording at the Eighth Thailand International Composition Festival.

入選參加美國哈特音樂院的Amy Feldman Bermon Composer Project,我譜寫了這首為小提琴、打擊與鋼琴的《難以承受的痛楚與眼眶的淚》。而且我很高興能有這個機會由The California EAR Unit在2012年3月11日演出這個作品。

2011到2012年的冬天,我從美國回到台灣過寒假,我目睹了我的父親因為肺癌承受的痛苦。除了感覺到非常難過之外,我很驕傲我的父親像個戰士勇敢地對抗他的肺癌已經長達三年之久。不過當醫生宣布他的癌症已經蔓延到他的全身,而且不可能被任何療程治癒,我跟媽媽,還有妹妹都很震驚,而且非常沮喪。我們請醫生在父親最後的日子裡,盡可能減少他的痛苦,而我們只能盡可能陪伴在他的身邊,堅強地陪他一起面對死亡的來臨。雖然我的父親的病情已經無法好轉,但我們都知道他還沒有放棄,而且非常努力地對抗著纏繞在他身上的疾病。當我在台灣的這個寒假,我陪伴父親的時候常常看到他的眼眶泛著淚光,尤其是當他努力對抗這個疾病,但我們都知道他已經非常努力承受著這巨大的痛苦。

對於一個作曲家,我能做的就是用音樂去紀錄著發生在我父親身上的痛苦。《難以承受的痛楚與眼眶的淚》全曲充滿著宿命般的灰暗氣息,不過在這種黑暗中仍有一絲的希望亮光在沮喪與絕望中閃耀著。兩個對比的段落,彼此沒有關連並交替的出現,我稱這兩個段落「難以承受的痛楚」與「眼眶的淚」。雖然這兩個段落各自地發展而且表面上是分離的,但是他們兩個也彼此糾纏在一起。對我而言,眼淚代表著力量與勇氣去面對這種難以承受的痛楚和在黑暗中那珍貴的微微亮光。

我要把這首曲子題獻給我的父親,沒有他全力的支持,我一點也不可能會有譜寫音樂的來源與能力。 

P.S. 我的父親在台灣時間2月17日凌晨1點20分安詳地過世,雖然他現在已經在天上的家,但是我這輩子仍是永遠愛著他。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (February 11, 2012 West Hartford, CT)

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