Jingwei Fills the Sea

For: SAB, soloists, piano

Duration: Several Minutes

Text: Ancient Chinese, translated and arranged by Michaella Cipriani and Emily Ciprani

Program Note: The myth of the Jingwei bird originates from the Classic of Mountains and Seas (Shān Hǎi Jīng 山海). The story is over 2000 years old, from the Shennong Tribe, in what is in the Western region of modern China. The subject of the story is the young princess named Nǔwā 女娃, which we have translated as “Little Girl.” After a tragic drowning in the sea, she becomes the Jingwei bird (Jīngwèi 精), which literally means “spirit guardian.” She vows to ll up the sea so no one else can drown, by dropping pebbles one at a time into the sea for the rest of eternity.

Performances: The University of Connecticut, 2021 and 2023