The Rape of Nanking - Symphonic Poem by Benedict Lim. Released in July 2016!
This project is a fulfillment of Iris Chang’s legacy. I obtained Iris’s autographed book of The Rape of Nanking in the late 1990’s. The story was intriguing and overwhelming but wasn’t drastically motivated to approach to compose on the theme. Not until the news of her mysterious death in 2004 came to my corner, I was suspicious that her tragedy was not caused by suicide but other theories abound. Years went by when I have discovered once again my passion to compose, the subject of the massacre of Nanjing became apparent a “must do project.” With this latest commission for the 80 years anniversary of the Nanjing incident, I have revived this story once again. Some may ask, “why can’t you put this behind us?” My wish is to seek awareness and serve memoriam but rather than bidding political conflicts. At the same time, this project is a way to pay my deepest gratitude to Iris Chang who literally worked to her death! According to Chang: My greatest hope is that this book will inspire other authors and historians to investigate the stories of the Nanking survivors before the last of the voices from the past, dwindling in number every year are extinguished forever. Possibly even more important, I hope it will stir the conscience of Japan to accept responsibility for this incident. This book was written with George Santayana’s immortal warning in mind; those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Chang:16)