The Gentlest Thing
After looking at different translations of this text from the Tao Te Ching, I discovered that the gentlest, softest thing is often a metaphor for water and the hardest thing for a rock or a collection of rocks. Musically, I used many major triads, which always seem to sound “gentle”. Like water, these triads are made malleable and are often squeezed in chords where most other chords would not fit.
From the Tao Te Ching,
Translated by Stephen Mitchell
The gentlest thing in the world
overcomes the hardest thing in the world.
That which has no substance
enters where there is no space.
This shows the value of non-action.
(This text was used with the kind permission of Stephen Mitchell.)