2018 | 15 performers sinfonietta (commissioned by CME Oberlin)

premiered on March 2nd 2018 in Warner Recital Hall, Oberlin Conservatory, USA, and the second performance took place in Cleveland Museum of Art on March 4th 2018.

Tim Weiss, conductor
Flute: Hexin Zhang Percussion: Carson Fratus Oboe: Colton Potter Harp: Ina McCormack Clarinet: Evan Schnurr Piano: Paul Celebi Bassoon: Alan Truong Violin 1:Kelly Sohyoung Lee Horn: John Freiberg Violin 2: Jae Yee Lee Trumpet: Sam Friedman Viola: Nicolas Vigilante Bass Trombone: Sam Weaver Cello: Emma Churchill Bass: Matthew Frerck

Program Notes by Composer:
I was inspired by the poem Invocation – Blessing the Boat written by Robin Coste Lewis, which is a narrative poem consisting of fragmented words to visualize exhibitions of Western art objects. “Of a Balsarium Glass Moss Fragment Untitled Gelatin Silver Print” (quote Invocation – Blessing the Boat from by Robin Coste Lewis) As a museumgoer, what I find most intriguing in this poem is that Lewis uses words of different museum objects and subtly connects them. The mashing together of a series of seemingly irrelevant words and concepts shows some special creative association among art objects throughout history. In my piece, the sound that emits every time inspires a comprehension and a visual emergence of its relative words in the poem. I try to present a reinterpretation of this poem through various musical ideas that resonate with me. For example, I make an association between a melody from a medieval old Roman chant Offertorium: Terra Tremuit with a sentence in Lewis’ poem, where the Roman chant appears in my mind when I access the old Roman art object as described by Lewis: “Obverse anthropomorphic sarcophagus. Alabastron eulogia ampulla.” Sometimes I use a specific timbre or texture to present an object in the poem, such as the “Fiber beads”, “Coins”, etc. At the end of my piece, you will hear several instruments and sounds in turns, which is exactly the same as the description in the “finale” section of the poem: “Harp with Bridge Harp Lute One-key Xylophone Slit Gong Trumpet Gong Gong Mallet Whistle Rattle Drum.” The music and the film present the whole content of the poem, providing the visual illustration of art objects in the museum. Art, as a product of the spiritual civilization of humans, also accompanies the development of human society through the times. It’s the result of constant exploration and creative recognition towards the universe. At the end of the poem, “a strong incised vaginal” suggests the origin of life, where new worlds are created, new journeys begin, and new lives are born. All life and art forms are connected; they both arise from the origin of life.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

2016 | ensemble

For clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and percussion group. Inspired by the French movie The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (2007). The story is based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s book. Recorded in Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio, USA. September 2016.

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