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Madman's Diary

for Toy Piano

I.    "Tonight the moon is very bright...... I have reason for my fear."
II.     "Since I could not sleep anyway, I read intently half the night, until I began to see words between the lines, the whole book being filled with      the two words— ‘Eat people.’ "
III.     "The eater of human flesh is my elder brother!"
IV.    "The fierceness of a lion, the timidity of a rabbit, the craftiness of a fox......"
V.    "Wanting to eat men, at the same time afraid of being eaten themselves, they all look at each other with the deepest suspicion......"
VI.    "The sun does not shine, the door is not opened, every day two meals."
VII.     "Save the children......"

The music of Madman's Diary is loosely based on Lu Xun's short story A Madman's Diary. Written in 1918, it is significant as one of the first literary work written in vernacular Chinese. Through the lens of the schizophrenic protagonist, it criticizes the traditional Chinese culture and its feudalistic society, and eventually became an influential work in the New Culture Movement. Several quotes from the story are chosen by the composer in chronological order, providing a programmatic backbone for the musical narrative.

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