Unbearable Pain and Watery Eyes

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

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)

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。




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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