ZHOU LONG: Mount a Long Wind (2004)
Erhu, pipa, zheng, dizi, percussion
This work was commissioned for Music From China’s 20th anniversary season. The music reflects the vivid imagery of Li Bai’s poem “The Hard Road” from the Tang dynasty. Textured waves accompanied by strong rhythmic chords symbolize a journey — “to mount a long wind and break the heavy waves.” Vigorous rhythmic sections conjuring up the driving dragon boat and gentle melodies evoking the sounds of nature are followed by a recapitulation which brings the music to a celebratory climax.
BRIGHT SHENG: The Singing Gobi Desert (2011)
Erhu, pipa, sheng, yangqin, percussion & saxophone quartet
The Gobi Desert, which covers much of the famed ancient Silk Road, is well known for a natural phenomenon – the singing sands, a noise made by sand grains as they pass over each other when wind moved them across the surface of sand dunes. The title of the work reflects the composer’s personal experiences during a field trip of Silk Road music culture in northwest China. This work is co-commissioned by Music From China and PRISM Quartet.
HUA YANJUN: Reflection of the Moon in the Erquan Pool
Wang Guowei, erhu
Erhu solo created by the blind folk musician Abing is interspersed with moments of quietness and swelling pathos.
ZHOU LONG: The Moon Rising High
This work was commissioned by Music From China for an ensemble accompaniment to a classical pipa solo of the same title in the Yang Zhengxuan Collection of Pipa Music first published in 1929. The eight subtitled sections evoke images of the moon in different natural settings. Composer Zhou Long made full use of timbral colors of the various traditional instruments to enhance the pipa solo.