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LGCCO 2021

Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

Chen-Hui Jen (Taiwan): Drifting Mountainwards for Pipa and Live Electronics (2017)
Pipa/Pei-Ling Chang

"Darkly then fall the shadows and, ready to come home, I yet fondle the lonely pines and loiter around." (Tao Yuanming, Song for Returning Homewards / Translated by Dr. Lin, Yutang)

Drifting Mountainwards (2017) for pipa and live electronics reflects a distant response to a previous work of mine, Mountainwards (2010) for zheng solo. In this work, I use pipa to reinterpret the symbol of late-autumn mountains. To me, late-autumn mountains recall a deep memory from several years ago when my only sister and I last time visited the mountains to see the silver-grass. The next year I moved to the US, and a couple of years later my sister passed away. With this regret, when I finished Drifiting Mountainwards during my temporary return to my home country, I quoted the poem from Tao Yuanming's Song for Returning Homewards to express my mind of "returning home, feeling everything has changed and no longer like that was yesterday." The entire work primarily develops based on my imagination of "lonely pines" and is filled with simple but subtle sounds that one can only be aware of though close listening in order to create an interactive space evoked by the poet (the performer) and the nature (the whole).

Corrina Bonshek (Australia): Birds Singing at First Light for Erhu, Pipa, Guzheng and Recorded Nature Sounds by Wild Ambience (2017)
Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

This music is inspired by the changing nature sounds at dawn in my home of Australia. At first, the instrumental music is abstract, melding with nature recordings of night birds and crickets before dawn. Then a melody slowly emerges and takes shape alongside a soft dawn chorus of Honeyeaters. The music grows into a heartfelt melody that symbolizes oneness with nature. This is heard alongside the melodic songs of Grey Shrikethrush and the Butcherbird. This feeling of oneness with nature often seems to happen spontaneously. But in my experience, it starts with giving nature our full attention. Then our body settles down, our senses become heightened, and we begin to feel contentment and peace. I hope to create music that also gives this experience. The nature sounds you’ll hear were recorded at dawn in an Eucalypt forest in Victoria, Australia by Wild Ambience and are featured on the album ‘Dawn in Mallee Country’.

Guadalupe Perales (Mexico): Convergencias for Chinese Lute (Pipa) and Electronics (2021) (Commissioned Work, World Premiere)
Pipa/Pei-Ling Chang

This is a work in which Chinese, ancient, Western and modern elements find, influence and give rise to one another, recognizing themselves as part of a whole, common and unique reality.

Sarang Kim (Korea): As Dew for Dadi, Sheng, Erhu, Yangzin, Pipa, Ruan, Guzheng, Percussion and Tape (2017)
Conductor/Chih-Sheng Chen
Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

I believe that Chinese instruments are very microtonal. Chinese instruments are capable of producing constantly variable intonations and microtonal clusters. To bring out these qualities, this work includes a lot of glissando, slight intonation/timbral change, slow vibrato, and etc. Performers can freely choose how they will play that narrow glissando along the curvy lines for slight intonation change, it could be only quarter sharp/flat or wider intervals such as minor 2nd or major 2nd.These detailed decisions are left to the performers. The original version of this piece has three sections and approximately 10 minutes long, including the middle section at a faster tempo than the first/last sections.

Yu-Chung Tseng (Taiwan): A Capriccio of Silk for Erhu and Electronic Music (2018)
Erhu/Yi-Fei Siao

A Capriccio of Silk is one of a series of work exploring the interaction of human and machine. Composed for Erhu, a two-stringed bowed Chinese traditional musical instrument, and electronic music, the work aims to investigate a new mode of interactive performance between Erhu and computer.
Some important thoughts of the work include: A. to reveal and express the potential virtuosity of the Chinese instrument Erhu, as those found in Capriccio by Niccolo Paganini. B. to extend and expand the expression domain of Erhu through the employment of various modern technology. C. to create a sound world of fantasy that alternates between original and digitally transformed Erhu.
A Capriccio of Silk is a multi-section structure design, presenting a free and casual style as heard in Capriccio or some of Chinese music. The use of embroidery melody, of slow to fast rhythm, and of differential vibrato techniques also reveal the influence of Eastern music. Furthermore, the oscillating and alternating between the transformed and the original Erhu sounds creating a sense of beauty between virtuality and reality shows the influence of Chinese Yin and Yang philosophy.
A Capriccio of Silk was commissioned by Taiwan Computer Music Association and has been premiered at "Cross-Strait Electronic Music Exchange Concert-Yin Uan" in 2018 by erhu young performer Yi-Fei Siao. The work will be performed again, played by Erhu virtuoso Yi-Fei Siao, at the Taiwan-Mexico on-line exchange concert in September 2021 under the invitation of Dr. Chih-Sheng Chen, music director of Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra.

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