In the andante first movement, the island's most ancient voices offer their wisdom and admonish newcomers to give themselves completely to their new home. The third movement, in march tempo, encourages survivors of suffering to rise above their pain. The finale envisions an island that fulfils everything contained in the name Formosa.
1. If You Ask
If you ask about the island's father,
I will tell you of the sky.
If you ask about the island's mother,
I will tell you of the sea.
If you ask about the island's past,
I will tell you of the tears and blood that dripped to our feet.
If you ask about the island's future,
I will tell you to step out. Our path is open.
2. Memory and Perception
For every victim we readily chisel a name into marble.
For every victim we readily weave a flower into a wreath.
For every victim we share an ode.
For every victim we sing a hymn.
Do not surrender to convulsions of self-pity.
Do not poison yourself with recriminations.
Lift your hand to the azure skies.
Set yourself upon a shining road.
4. This Beautiful Country
This beautiful country is our everlasting love.
This beautiful country is our heart's treasure.
And this modest tapestry of dreams only sketches our hopes
for this beautiful country, a green peace.
In September 2007 the piece was featured in an American West Coast tour program by the NTNU Symphony Orchestra and Formosa Festival Choir conducted by Apo Hsu. The soloists in the second movement were Meng-Chieh Hsieh (soprano) and Yu-Hsin Chang (baritone). The choir--actually the combined choirs of NTNU, Mangka Presbyterian Church Choir, New Taoyuan Philharmonic Choir, and Buddhist Candles Choir--was prepared by Tsui-Yu Huang.