Compassion of the Buddhist
(soprano, violin, flute, percussion), 2014 [2'46"]

This song describes the incredible journey of Master Monk Hsuan-Tsang (AD 602-664) of the Tang Dynasty. His compassion for salvation strengthened his determination to persevere. Overcoming hardship of the long journey, he retrieved Buddhist scriptures from India and authenticated buddhism in China. The voice range is suitable for either soprano or tenor. The accompaniment consists of a violin, a flute, four percussion instruments, and chorus. Percussions symbolize the firm footsteps of the journey. Violin and flute further depict the 14-year-long journey to faraway lands. Chorus represents the challenging endeavor and the adherence to Buddha Dharma. Piano provides a construct that symbolizes natural progression, causality, and samsara. Some techniques of the minimalism are used. Ostinato figures support a slow but surely progression, which gradually evolves and develops. It's like a tortuous trip over the hills and mountains, reaching seemingly dead ends, but always finding a new path just around the corner. It's also like the chanting of monks, teaching Dharma relentlessly, providing salvation for all, and promoting Buddhism widely. The lyrics written by Ven. Master Tsung Tzu Shih are as follows:

It's my determination, to authenticate Buddhism in China.
For all lives with compassion, I receive Sutras from India.
With a heart of enlightenment, I recite Quanyin's name and Heart Sutra,
Traveling through deserts, and climbing over high mountains.
Does anyone know my vows and determinations?
I'd rather die of traveling west, than retreat east alive!
Despite unmeasurable adversity and difficulty along the way,
I receive Buddhist scripts in India, learning Cognitions-only and Wisdom Sutras.
Only the Three Treasures know deeply, my devotions to Buddha Dharma,
Learning Dharma diligently, returning home, and translating sage Sutras.
Rekindle the everlasting Dharma lights on eastern lands to save all sentient beings.
Rekindle the everlasting Dharma lights on eastern lands to save all sentient beings.

This piece was first released on Youtube on May 14, 2014, performed by Man-Fei Liao (soprano), recorded and synthesized by Shu-Feng Tsai.