Madly Singing in the Mountains

dizi, erhu, sheng, pipa, guzheng, yangqin
(2015) 11′

Chinese Music Virtuosi with Frederick Lau, dizi and Yi-Chieh Lai, guzheng

The title for the work Is borrowed from a poem by Chinese poet Bai Juyi (白居易,772-846), one that describes a poet who must exile himself to the isolation of the mountains in order to shout out his verses in song. Taking the poem as my inspiration, I wrote a piece that is filled with echoes: I sometimes ask for the musicians to play musical gestures that fade off into nothing, and other times have them call back and forth to one another the way a mountain calls back in response to a loud shout or song. At the heart of the piece is a melody. It begins innocuously enough, but eventually consumes the entire ensemble. At the very beginning and again near the end, the instruments shout out this tune, as if overwhelmed or possessed. After the cacophonous outburst, all that is left are echoes of the melody, heard bouncing off stone walls endlessly.

Madly Singing in the Mountains was composed for the Chinese Music Virtuosi, Fred Lau and Yi-Chieh Lai.

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