Vocal Music from 2006 and 2007

These are some vocal music I wrote between 2006 and 2007, while attending Conrad Cummings’ evening music composition class at Juilliard. Some of these were sight-readings in class. One was performed at a bar.

Onward, Uncle Sam’s Soldiers was written in 2006 to commemorate a disaster.

We are Made of Stars, subtitled “The Story of RNA”, was written in 2006 as a tribute to Carl Sagan and as an illustration of the RNA World.  Lyric is included at the end of the article.

A House for the Feeble Minded was written in 2007, as a duet for tenor and baritone with piano accompaniment. Adapted from the short story ‘Profession’ by Isaac Asimov. Lyric is included at the end of the article.

Music Score Mp3 Notes
Onward, Uncle Sam’s Soldiers Score Performed by Lillian Redl (vocal) and Michael Fennelly (piano) on May 5th, 2006
We are Made or Stars Score Soprano, Mezzo-soprano and piano. Lyric – a tribute to Carl Sagan.
A House of the Feeble-Minded Score Duet for tenor and baritone with piano accompaniment. Adapted from the short story ‘Profession’ by Isaac Asimov.

We are Made of Stars

The story of RNA

by Fred Hsu

In the beginning,
 Stars issued forth out of void.
 What created them?

It was the Big Bang!
 No Big Bang, no space, no time.
 No place to hang out.

Amount of matter,
 Quite large and uncountable.
 Burst out like fireball.

The universe, it expands,
 It slows down,
 And it swells,
 As it winds down,
 Forever it keeps spreading out,
 As it serenely chills out.

Hydrogen atoms,
 Lightest of all elements.
 Fuel of newborn stars.

Heavier substances,
 Carbon, Oxygen and friends.
 Forged in star furnaces.

Exceedingly tired,
 Stars burned out.
 Vastly overweight,
 Guts spewed out.

Watery planet,
 Under rough tides,
 Bred nucleotides.

Ah, nucleotides,
 they come in four flavors:

A, C, U, G
 La, Do, Re, So

They make friends with one another.
 They pair up with their favorite buddies.

U, G, A, C

They clone themselves,
 Relentlessly!

A House for the Feeble-Minded

Adapted from the short story ‘Profession’ by Isaac Asimov

by Fred Hsu

It’s year 7023 BC. The Earth exports “reading tapes” and “education tapes” to thousands of colonies in the outer worlds. Young men and women are ‘taped’ at the age of 8 so they can read. They become adults at the age of 18 by participating in the Education Day where each person has his brains analyzed and taped for the most suitable profession. Roughly 1 in every 100,000 teenagers both on Earth and on the colonies is found to be unsuitable for taping, and is sent to a “House for the Feeble-minded” on Earth for protection. George Platen is one such poor soul and shares a room with Hali Omani for the past 6 months.

(Both): Oh, our dreams were broken.
        They locked us up in this mad house.

George: They said I could not be...
Hali:     could not be...
(Both): a Registered Programmer.

George: They said my brain was...
Hali:     your brain was...
(Both): unsuitable for download!

(Both): The tapes of knowledge we sought,
        Upgraded every year.
        Three minutes on your doctor's chair,
        Lets you practice a new profession with flair.

George: While everyone is out there
        Enjoying his taped career,
        I sit with the uneducated,
        Learning from books,
        One page at a time,
Hali:     I have no problem with this arrangement
(Both) One page at a time!

(piano)

George: Hali! have you ever wondered,
        who makes new tapes every year?

(Both): How did he get taped so
        he could make more new tapes every year?
        And who makes tapes to tape
        he who makes tapes every year?

George: Er, I guess that would be... us?

Hali:   George! Your creative mind
        Cannot be tape.

(Both): You'll teach yourself out of books,
          I'll teach myself out of books,
        Create new knowledge day and night.

Hali:   You know...
George:   Now I know
(Both): This so-called
        House for the Feeble-minded
        is in fact
        an Institute for Higher Studies!

About Xinhai Dude 辛亥生

The name Xinhai Dude 辛亥生 is a pun in Chinese, as it means both “he who was born in Xinhai” as well as “he who studies Xinhai”. I had an ambitious plan to write something about the great Xinhai Revolution of 1911, thus my blog https://xinhaidude.com. But after an initial flurry of activities the initiative petered out. One day I will still carry it through. But for now, this website has turned into a conglomerate of my work on various topics of interest to me, including travel pictures, RC model airplane flying, ice skating, classical music composition, science fiction short stories, evolution and atheism.
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