• Du Yun
  • When a Tiger meets a Rosa Rugosa (2012)

  • Channel Du Yun Publishing (World)

Commissioned by Hilary Hahn Encore Project

  • Violin, piano
  • 6 min

Programme Note

Embracing a tiger inside
Smelling the rosa rugosa

(Rosa Rugosa is a type of rose.)

Unadulterated. Delicate. Strength. Effeminate. Vigorous. Innumerable. Valiant. Infinite.

Many years ago, I encountered the title line on a broken mural in rural China somewhere. And it struck me enormously. I wrote the line in my journal.

Later I learned the zen-like translation by Yu Guangzhong is on "In me the tiger sniffs the rose" by Siegfried Sassoon, from his collection, In me, past, present, future.

As I was preparing the piece, I happened to encounter a letter by Proust.

A different time, a different contextual language. Same sentiments. Transubstantiation.

From Proust:
Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power…that has broken you restores you a little. I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.