Kidnapping Water reflections

Last Sunday, Betsy Baeskens, Stuart McLeod and I performed excerpts from Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas for the Seattle Symphony Day of Music. Betsy sang 14 Bottled Operas in six sections while Stuart and I played the water with bamboo poles, plastic bags, gongs, plastic bottles, crotales and bamboo buzzers. Here's our set list:
  1. Taking Time
  2. Red Drops / Ride a Cloud / Floating
  3. Droplets / Translucence / Image / Growing
  4. Disease-Love / Yellow Polka Dot / Swim Swim Swim
  5. Bounce / Withered Lilac
  6. Summer Tea

We performed in the Garden of Remembrance. This public memorial designed by Robert Murase includes reflecting pools and two waterfalls amidst black granite slabs carved with the names of almost 8,000 war veterans. Our set ended with Summer Tea (lyrics by Carola Luther).
Summer Tea
未濟 Wèi Jì |¦|¦|¦

Three months now
I’ve been prepared.
House is painted.
Attic aired.
Suitcase ready.
Words in order.
Got my ticket
and my visa.

While I wait
I dust the corners sweep the floor,
check the ledger, all is sorted.
All’s in order.

A bowl of water for my sister.
A pile of salt for my brother.
And for my daughter
all the seeds:
onion garlic
rose and thyme
cotton broad bean
orange lime
oats and barley
pear and pea
mushroom mulberry.

Story written.
Fire laid.
Letters burnt.
Debts are paid.
Apples dried. Horses fed.
Sail mended. Big book read.

A bowl of water for my sister.
A pile of salt for my brother.
And for my daughter
all the seeds:
onion garlic
rose and thyme
cotton broad bean
orange lime
oats and barley
pear and pea
mushroom mulberry.
Summer, summer tea.
Betsy sent me these reflections about the performance:
A particularly poignant moment was when we were doing Summer Tea. I of course loved the listing of the kinds of seeds to be given to the daughter; as I was preparing that piece, I had familiar twinges of regret over not having had more children, including a daughter. But as I was singing, a little girl I teach from NWGC (Northwest Girlchoir) came into my line of vision. She was rapt, watching you and Stuart, and also showing the astonishment only a young child can when confronted with the impossible image of their teacher somewhere other than the classroom. It made me realize that daughters, and families, can come in many forms, and we can collect and pass seeds to them in many ways. It was powerful, especially as you had said before the performance that you wanted Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas to be not only for people now but for future generations.