After my winter trip to Asia (Taiwan, Japan), I returned to a United States that was about to undergo an exhausting trial of civil resistance against the rescindment of humanity. Life goes on yet is now again charged with a strong awareness of our existence as human individuals and as the living beneficiaries of our Earth. Within an interconnected web of matters and consciousnesses, I look ahead upon my upcoming composition projects with heightened focus, reflection, and sense of artistic responsibility. On the other hand, having suffered from a long and devastating drought, Los Angeles is finally rain-drenched for the season. Perhaps the poppies will bloom wild this spring in Southern California!
Innovation Series 2017 (新點子樂展) – the 30th Anniversary of the National Performing Arts Center of Taiwan (國家兩廳院) Edition : Music Theater Concerts (Taipei, Taiwan)
I was commissioned by the “Innovation Series” of the National Performing Arts Center of Taiwan (國家兩廳院 “新點子樂展”) to participate in the special music theater program marking the 30th anniversary of the Taipei National Theater & Concert Hall. Curated and initiated by composer Chao Ching-Wen, the concert-length music theater program involves six nationally and internationally known female Taiwanese composers, a theater director, a lighting and set designer, an installation artist, a percussion soloist, a pianist, ten vocalists, and a tonmeister. It combines and synthesizes the abstraction and expressive powers of contemporary music and non-narrative theatre, and conceptually centers itself upon experiential vignettes, memory imageries, and imaginations of latent or future history of Taiwan. This is my first time undertaking such ambitious semi-collective project — besides the 10-min individual piece for voices, percussion, and electronics I am composing for the specific segment of the program, I am also contributing sound materials throughout other parts of the program. It is also a highly experimental and inspiring process working closely and collaboratively with emerging Taiwanese director Ding-Yun Huang (黃鼎云), whose work is characterized by its evocative visceral poetry and complex, juxtaposed symbolism.
The concert will take place at the Black Box of the National Theater in Taipei, Taiwan on September 30th and October 1st, 2017, preceded by a press conference and followed by panel discussions.
Collaboration with Ensemble Adapter (Berlin, Germany)
Selected as one of the five composers for Berlin-based Ensemble Adapter‘s commission program “Adoptions 2017”, I will collaborate with Adapter for a new composition for flute, clarinet, harp, percussion, and electronics which will be premiered and recorded in Berlin in December this year.
My composition, titled je tu il-là elles, will figuratively project and interpret the theatrical scaffold of Belgian director Chantal Akerman’s 1974 film Je, Tu, Il, Elle, which operates on the signaling trigger that is “hunger” and the awareness of Self in relation to Others. The brilliance of Icelandic/German group Ensemble Adapter resides in its members’ unusually mature and personal instrumental sounds, as well as the group’s quietly reflective yet highly progressive artistic trajectory. It is my honor to be able to work with such ensemble in a highly collaborative manner!
Selected as a Composition Fellow for the Summer Akademie at Schloss Solitude 2017 – working with Ensemble SurPlus (Stuttgart, Germany)
Selected as a composition fellow among a competitive pool of 200 candidates, I will participate in this year’s Summer Akademie for Composers at the Schloss Solitude directed and instructed by composers Chaya Czernowin, Johannes Schöllhorn, and Samir Odeh-Tamimi. For three weeks in August, 2017, the composition fellows under the direction of the three master composers will gather at the Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany and engage in an intensive and critical discourse of contemporary music composition. In addition, I will compose a new work to be performed by the renown German ensemble Ensemble SurPlus at the closing concert of the akademie period.
Pale Fire (2015) Selected and Featured on the Hear Now/PIE Concert, April 28th, 2017, as part of the Hear Now Festival 2017 (Los Angeles, USA)
Pale Fire (2015) for solo piano and electronics is selected to be performed on the Hear Now/PIE (People Inside Electronics) concert of the Hear Now Festival 2017 in April! Hear Now is a premium historic festival showcasing Los Angeles-based contemporary music composers. Each year the program consists of works anonymously selected among submissions collected through invitations. It is my pleasure to have Pale Fire (2015) receiving its third performance in Los Angeles, again performed by the virtuosic pianist Vicki Ray who commissioned the work in the first place!