Li Bai’s Moonlight Cantata

I learnt a new word: Cantata. Originally, I wanted to use “moonlight sonata” as part of the name, as a contrast. You know, that music piece by Beethoven. Then I realised that “sonata” means instrumental music (of sorts). “Cantata” means voice (of sorts). Go check the dictionary for the exact meanings.

Anyway, I’ve had that tune for the poem for a long time. It’s only with video that I finally found an outlet to express it. I could’ve created it as an audio file, but it would lack the impact I created in the above video.

I learnt how to shoot footage so I could do a cloning of myself in the video, and also how to edit that effect. That’s near the end of the video.

Here’s the poem in Chinese:
Li Bai poem

Note the visual elegance of the poem when written. Since each Chinese word is one syllable, a poem is visually compact. If the language has this one-syllable-one-word property, it will have this visual elegance. For example, a haiku in Japanese.

Also, each Chinese word carries meaning by itself, which is why much can be said in Chinese with few words. For example Chinese idioms or “Cheng Yu”
Cheng Yu - Chinese idiom
are 4 words each.

I’m not trying to raise Chinese superiority on language. Just giving an observation. Just so you know, that compactness comes at a price. Have you tried to write Chinese characters? Especially the complicated ones? And do you know how to pronounce an unfamiliar word? At least with English words, you can still get by with guessing. Unless it’s “chauffeur”. I pronounced it as chor-fi-ur (gluing the “fi-ur” to almost “fur”) when I was 10 years old. The English tuition teacher asked me to pronounce it in front of a class. Oh stop laughing…

Here’s the meaning of the poem:

There’s bright moonlight before the bed
Looks like frost on the ground
I raise my head and look at the bright moon
I bow my head and think of home