Surrender Initial Ideas

I've been brainstorming with Aaron Jafferis, combing through the Dao De Jing, hanging out with Falun Dafa practitioners in Seattle, and observing the protests in New York. Aaron and I have decided to focus on Dao De Jing Verse 22, sung in Mandarin throughout by four to six voices. The larger group sings a relentless, violent beating of persecution lyrics. The audience loops a short folksong throughout this onslaught and in their seeming surrender shows courage and strength.

The movement vocabulary ranges from sitting, to taking a step, to running, to flailing. The sound vocabulary consists of layered folksongs with Chinese Opera inflections and percussive vocal patterns.

I have read through 10 different English translations and studied the Chinese ideograms for this verse. These are the images and ideas from the source text that stand out: twisted, profit, new, missing, many moons, confused heart, delude, cherish, understand, abundance, strength, materialism, adulthood, contend, hands pull apart, struggle, sun disappears, claws, chopping sound, crimes of the mouth, freedom of speech, put away for safe-keeping, sincerity, yielding, silence, violence, liquid, corporeal, participatory, hands give, retold through 10 mouths, plants rise from the ground.

These infuse the new work Surrender for The Esoterics to perform next August.