Garden Eight: "Bei" (north)
version for pipa(1996, rev. 2014)
|Commission||Commissioned by Yellow Barn; Seth Knopp, Artistic Director|
|Premiere||July 30, 2014; Big Barn, Putney, Vermont; Gao Hong, pipa|
I have composed a series of pieces entitled Gardens, as a tribute to the Ming Dynasty Yuen Yeh, the earliest and the most exquisite Chinese horticultural treatise. Gardens, in this discourse, are not treated as a confined enclosure, but as an extended environment. A Chinese garden is a visual world as well as a world of other senses. Passing clouds, remote mountains, sound of ancient temple bells, transience of seasons, . . . all are part of the extended space. When we recite a poem or play the seven-stringed zither, our spirits immerse into the garden as we remain reflective observers.
These pieces are musical gardens. To perform one of them is to walk through a garden of sounds.
Garden Eight was composed for any solo instrument. It consists of six pitches and six relative durations. The pipa version of Bei (north) was commissioned by Yellow Barn, Seth Knopp, Artistic Director, and was written for Gao Hong who gave its premiere at Big Barn, Putney, Vermont on July 30, 2014.
- Lei Liang