One tends to imagine the calendar years as connected together, one after the other, by dainty little links that’s the New Year’s eve and New Year’s day, yet with the overlapping and cross-referencing of cultures and geographical locations in my life — Liturgical calendar, Lunar calendar, Minguo calendar (what Taiwan officially uses), Hebrew calendar (having gone to a school with strong Jewish heritage), and, of course, academic calendar and my composer’s deadline schedule — I myself envision periods of weeks and months and seasons more as irregularly lined pleats of temporal transformation and metamorphoses of realities. So for me the ushering-in of the first couple months of year 2016 from the receding tides of 2015 feels more like the visible, eventual manifestation of the last couple months of 2015, together the two ends framing an accumulated, revolved body of processes and matters.
I have worked through these months for various projects and prospects. The project I had been deeply engrossed within the most would be the composing of Pale Fire (2015), which is commissioned by the Los Angeles Piano Spheres and will be premiered later this month by pianist Vicki Ray. Meanwhile, the period has been mottled throughout by performances of my other pieces. Some of these events are:
– Premiere of Pale Fire (2015) for solo piano and electronics at Disney Hall’s REDCAT theatre on the recital “Four Elements” by pianist Vicki Ray, Los Angeles, February 23rd 2016. For information see Piano Spheres Concert Series.
– Workshop and panel discussion about Pale Fire (2015) and Dominique Schafer’s Aufwind (2015) with pianist Vicki Ray, Dominique Schafer, and guest moderator John Schneider (artistic director of MicroFest, host on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK) at Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Pasadena CA, February 20th 2016.
– Transient Canvas‘s performance of Peinture Nº1 (2014, rev.2015) in Boston (Church of the Advent), February 2016.
– Transient Canvas’s performance Peinture Nº1 (2014, rev.2015) for bass clarinet and marimba in San Francisco, late January 2016.
– Ensemble Proton‘s performance of about G (2015), miniature for quintet and performance art, at their Viel Glück! concert in Bern, Switzerland, December 2015.
– Bill Solomon‘s performances of An Unfinished Tale (2004) for solo percussion at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and University of Minnesota-Duluth, November and December 2015.
As I move forward towards the tidings of later spring — a colloquium lecture given at California State University-Long Beach in March and the premiere of my theatrical work Bonjour Minuit (2014-15) at Brandeis University in May, my month of February concludes an extended period of experimentation, hard work, commitments, the fruition of certain efforts, and, magically, a short yet rejuvenating escapade in Portland and the Big Sur. More updates coming soon. At the same time, I wish you all a great month ahead and a (few days from now) Happy Chinese New Year 新春愉快!
(Featured Photography : Jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Copyright reserved, 2016)