In case you don’t read Chinese, I have been awarded a 2011 National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Commission. Thank you, Taiwan!
The commissioned work Blue Mirror, Green Mirror, Red Mirror 三思 is for piano trio (violin, cello, and piano). In 2003, I wrote Trio for viola, vibraphone, and piano. It explored the idea of relationship among the three instruments. The new trio Blue Mirror, Green Mirror, Red Mirror will follow a similar approach to examine the perspective from each instrumental part. It is like telling the same story from three different angles. In many ways, the two trios will be sister works. My personal fascination with the number “3″ translates directly into the word “relationship”. I guess you may say when you have three people involved in anything, you have a social issue. Read the ancient Chinese story about three monks fetching water here.
Some important influences and inspirations for this new composition come from the Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red, German director Tom Tykwer’s film Run Lola Run, and Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s novel Hard-Boilded Wonderland and the End of the World. All of these works deal with chance, incidental convergence, and re-shaping your perception of the world through different lenses. I admire these works, and they have taught me a lot in my own creative projects.
I just completed the score for Who Is a Scientist? (2011), a short film by Quinn Spadola. This film explores topics of feminism, culture in scientific studies, science education, etc. I am not going to write too much about it here since the filmmaker will want to make her own statement and presentation of the film.
The collaboration with Quinn was an enjoyable one. We were glad to have connected, especially based on our common interest in feminist topics. During the process, we met quite a few times to discuss and work on the music, within a tight schedule. Isn’t it funny that I can always carve out time to work on composition even when seemingly my schedule was already full? The music turned out well. But I am not going to lie: often when I am just working out things in my composition, I feel like I am the biggest phony in the world! With MUCH perseverance, the materials started taking shape, and the overall scheme started making sense. Woohoo! It’s always comforting to learn that I am not an idiot (a direct quote by my filmmaker friend Theo Lipfert.)
Here are a couple examples that Daniel showed me:
Thanks to all of you out there listening to my music. Oftentimes I tend to discount praises from people around me, since I assume they want to make me feel good or want my attention, etc. Hearing how listeners (who I am not friends with yet) like my music makes my day!
University of Central Missouri Laptop Ensemble is scheduled to perform my laptop ensemble piece SoundCloud on the UCM New Music Festival. The work uses 4 different Max patches as independent parts, but each part can have multiple players. Hsiao-Lan is rounding up participants to join the laptop ensemble for a massive performance. If you are interested in joining the event, and are able to be present, please email Hsiao-Lan for more details.
Daniel’s Punk • Truck • Love for bass clarinet and electronics will also be performed on the festival by the clarinet faculty at UCM.
The Department of Music at the University of Central Missouri is hosting the third annual UCM New Music Festival April 8-10, 2011. This year’s festival will be held in conjunction with the 2011 Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI Conference. Featuring music by composers and presentations by scholars from across North America and beyond, the festival showcases faculty, student, and guest performers. University of Central Missouri is located in Warrensburg, Missouri. It is about 90 miles from the Kansas City International Airport.
My collaborative video work Made in… will appear on the electro-acoustic concert at the 2011 Women Composers Festival of Hartford. The concert, co-sponsored by the Studio of Electronic Music, Inc., is to be held on Friday March 4 at 7:30 pm at Capital Community College in Hartford, CT, USA.
Thank you for your submission to the 2011 Women Composers Festival of Hartford’s Electronic Music Score Call. We received a large number of outstanding submissions from across the United States and abroad for this inaugural score call, and are happy to inform you we have programmed your “Made In…”.
My work Rugged Edges for string orchestra has been chosen as a finalist in the 2011 ISCM Youth Orchestra Composition Competition. This piece was also a finalist in the Denton Chamber Orchestra’s Composer Competition. I am delighted to know that textural music such as Rugged Edges, with plenty of extended techniques and chance operation, is getting noticed and accepted by orchestras of the next generation.
2011 MIAMI ISCM CHAPTER
WORKS FOR YOUTH SYMPHONY RESULTS
New Music Miami ISCM Festival Series
The Miami ISCM Chapter received over 50 scores from different parts of the world for the first ever New Music Miami ISCM Festival Series competition for works composed for Youth Symphony. The panel was very impressed with the overall quality of the works submitted and as a result of the judging, David Heuser’s work Cauldron will be presented on May 7 by the Greater Miami Youth Symphony Huifang Chen conducting. Two other works, Rugged Edges by Hsiao-Lan Wang and poliptico by Andres Carrizo, were finalists and will be kept by the orchestra for possible consideration in the future.
The concert “Fun Is Not Allowed” features a program of musical works played on laptop computers plus percussion instruments. The music/sounds made by the computer can range from imitation of traditional instrumental sounds to completely synthetic and abstract sounds. Coordination of the ensemble performance sometimes relies on a conductor, wireless network data control, on-screen chat window communications, eye contact, and pre-defined structures practiced through rehearsals.
Last year, we commissioned many composers to create new works for us to play, and that was a very rewarding process. We were able to sample many different strategies for dealing with the technology and aesthetics. This semester, we decided to focus on creating works ourselves. There are four brand new pieces that were developed by our members, while two pieces are from invited composers. The prospect of writing music and trying out different ideas together is sometimes overwhelming, but always very interesting.
for networked laptop ensemble
by Ted Coffey
Arcs of Light
for zheng and laptop ensemble, EMLE commission
by Cole Ingraham
conductor: Carson Yahvah
soloist: Julie Gosswiller
developed by EMLE, Max patch by Patrick McCann and Hsiao-Lan Wang
for marimba, percussion, and laptop ensemble
marimba solo written by Stephan Gueguen, laptop parts developed by EMLE
marimba: Stephan Gueguen
percussion: Alex Montgomery
Fun Is Not Allowed
for laptop ensemble
developed by EMLE
for video, actors, and laptops
created by Daniel Zajicek & Hsiao-Lan Wang
actors: Patrick McCann & Stephan Gueguen
Hsiao-Lan Wang, director
Patrick McCann, assistant director
John Johnson, assistant to the assistant director
Clayton DeSimone, key ninja
Stephan Gueguen, beat machine
Joe Sweeney, tone meister
Daniel Zajicek, prime administer
Alex Montgomery, source of all hookups
Daniel and I will play three pieces from Robert Schumann’s Ballroom Scenes Op.109 on Friday 11/12 at 7:30 PM in the Reynolds Recital Hall at Montana State University. Six pianists will come together to celebrate the new Steinway piano that Montana State University Music Department has acquired. Free admission.
All are invited.
While I was researching for a reliable way for binding my 11″x17″ scores, I came across composer David Dzubay’s “Top Ten List of Music Preparation & Notation Rules”. I strongly agree with most of what he says. You may want to check out his list here.
As a conductor of contemporary music, I must say I cheered when I read his rule of “Never, ever, EVER make score or parts in landscape orientation.” My feeling about conducting to landscape scores is like eating a well melted ice scream cone — It’s not very comfortable, it’s messy, and you can’t decide which side you should take care of first.
I have been reading the book “The Rest Is Noise” by Alex Ross. It is a book for new music lovers and just anyone who wishes to get a better understanding of the evolution of serious music after 1900. Ross does a good job putting new music into a social and cultural context. Being a slow reader, I expect to spend a few weeks’ time with it while reading just a few pages each night. I am pretty excited to be reading this acclaimed piece of literature.