About | drift and iron sheets

drift and iron sheets

for alto saxophone and soprano voice

A duo incorporating both original text and a translation from Zheng Xiaoqiong’s
郑小琼 poem 《回响》 Echoes

Recording coming soon


Real estate developers take your streets, peddlers, and lychee forests
Expelled art, factories and grocery stores, in vain I
await their dissolution, in this century of corrupted customs
I cling to the desolate old village, its broken tile walls
Half-rotten beams permeated with the impressions of rust and of time
The moon mid-sky, floating in a world of longing 
I once on a dim street wrote down pain, drift and iron sheets…
Migrating, a muddy courtyard, now closed off by a commercial building’s wall
Fragmented roads, the cold moon modestly by the window lattice
I once imagined the injection moulding machine at night with ashen wings… 
From Phoenix Avenue, lovers’ elations slip away in the slight wind
A green conveyer belt of blood revolving back and forth, stars and the four seasons,
the noise of the Water Festival, streams of cool drops falling from fleeting clouds,
In iron- and mud-laced Huang Ma Ling¹,
Nothing can last long in time
I passed through the sadness the Qin Dynasty moon² imparted on ancient bricks
Fragile fates, the resounding echoes at the hour of their death

Zheng Xiaoqiong

Translation, Rachel C. Walker

¹ Industrial village of Huang Ma Ling in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province where Xiaoqiong lived and worked in a hardware factory for five years

² Reference to Tang Dynasty poet Wang Changling

Year of Composition



郑小琼 Zheng Xiaoqiong


July 2021
Kunstraum j3fm, Hannover, DE

First Performers

There is no air in Space
Jana De Troyer, saxophone
Kelsey Cotton, soprano