Wong Hok-yeung Alfred 黃學揚

Night Poem 夜詩

The title Night Poem reflects the poetic nature of the music, yet the piece is rhapsodic in style, like restless thoughts keeping people up at night. Written during the composer’s undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the piece is dedicated to pianist Mary Wu and cellist Wolfgang Nüßlein, who premièred it in the Contemporary Music Exchange Concert jointly held by the CUHK and the Tokyo National University of Arts and Music in 2001. Special thanks to cellist friend Yu Ka-wai who performed it in 2003, and a deep gratitude to cellist Chor Kai-hei who performed the piece several times, including in its European premiere in 2016.   — Wong Hok-yeung Alfred

Chan Chin-Ting 陳展霆

Cross-currents​ 橫流

The term “cross-currents” refers to currents in a river that flow across other currents. The flow of water in these currents is highly unstable, shifting course constantly. To provoke images of such abstract concepts, this piece uses juxtapositions of conflicting materials and quick registral displacements of melodic lines. The idea of water flowing to unpredictable and overlapping directions guides this music to adventurous terrains.


This piece was jointly commissioned by the Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) as part of the MTNA Composer Commissioning Program. It was written for violinist Chen Yu-fang for a premiere at the 2015 MMTA state conference in Cape Girardeau MO.


Postcards 音片 was commissioned by violinist Chen Yu-fang for performance in the 2017 Thailand International Composition Festival (TICF). It consists of six miniatures (musical gifts), each having different characteristics but also being interconnected. The miniatures can be played together or separately as standalone pieces. Each “postcard” depicts a personality or an impression of a scene sonically, like what one expects from a photographic postcard. — Chan Chin-ting




Lee Kar-Tai Phoebus 李家泰

Pyrus Flower in Rain 夜雷細雨打梨花, 靜聽微風響叮鈴

Pyrus Flower in Rain is written for solo piano, roused by an instinctual inspiration of several sonorities. This piece reflects the influence on my perception of modern arts from the ink-and-wash paintings of Wu Guanzhong.


The piece calls for a transcendence of space when situating music in one’s mind, from physical and perceptual time-space to artistic and conceptual time-space. Simplicity is one of the encapsulating beliefs demonstrated in the compositional process. I prefer the idea that less is more. Notwithstanding, delicate articulation, refined dynamic control, and assigned linear motions set forth the subtleties of the piece. Every nuance and moment of space with the application of the piano pedal are very decisive and fateful.


The incarnation of the composition title in Chinese depicts a sonic scenery where light rain drops on flowers under sporadic thunders and wind rings tinkling bells. The piece is set to convey a transcendental construction of temporality. — Lee Kar-tai Phoebus







Manuscript of Stretch of Light (2013-15) by Chen Yeung-ping


Chen Yeung-ping 陳仰平

Stretch of Light 光的延伸

Distance has always been one of the most important resources for my compositions. This leads me to the realm of telematic musical creation and exploration of the sense of space. This work, Stretch of Light, was composed based on a technique that I called “Sonic Engraving,” and is closely related to this compositional instinct.


This piece is based on the distance of the pitches from the melodic line (the interval between every two adjacent notes) of the Prelude from J. S. Bach’s Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV 1007.  The transformation of the inner sonic parameters and the hyper-transcriptional process help rebuild the musical flow of Bach’s work and enhance the multidimensionality of the audience’s listening experience.


Stretch of Light is dedicated to USCD Bass Ensemble (Mark Dresser, Matthew Kline, Kyle Motl, Thomas Babin, and Timothy NcNalley). The recording of this work is released with the support of the research project grant of South China Normal University where I work as Associate Research Professor in Composition. — Chen Yeung-ping




Ng Chun-hoi Daniel 吳俊凱

Prelude II (WUXING INTERACTION) 前奏曲 I I (五行)

Written in 2013, Prelude II was inspired by ancient Chinese cosmology. The piece attempts to illustrate the interaction of the Wuxing “Five elements” in Chinese cultural ideology. In Chinese ideology, things and nature are organized into five different columns of elements. Wood (mù) represents growth and vitality, Fire (huǒ) represents heat and energy, Earth (tǔ) represents well-being and completeness, Metal (jīn) represents retrospection and transformation, and Water (shuǐ) represents enriching and conservation.


In Chinese cosmology, the five elements are ordered in two ways: (1) in generation sequence “xiansheng” (wood-fire-earth-metal-water), where an element helps or facilitates the development of another element; and (2) in conquest sequence “xiangke” (wood-earth-water-fire-metal), where an element overcomes another element.


In the piece, Prelude II, fire is represented by strumming sounds, water is represented by high pitch moving melodic materials, wood is represented by percussive sounds from the wooden body of the guitar, earth is represented by low pitch melodic and chordal materials, and metal is represented by metallic sound produced by the strings.


Basic materials or suggestions for each element are provided by the composer and the materials are to be shared by the two guitarists. Performers have discretion to choose the sequence and scenario to depict. When one guitarist selects one of the five elements to begin with, the second guitarist enters with a related element, either mutually generated or mutually overcoming (mutual conquest). Patterns and figurations provided are to be repeated or varied for a number of times, in order to suit the scenario of the music.


In the present recording (world premiere performance), the selected scenario is as follows: fire, water overcomes fire, water generates wood, wood overcomes earth, wood generates fire, fire generates earth, earth generates metal, metal overcomes wood, metal generates water, ending section – the five elements are integrated in harmony in the cosmo (featuring harmonics).


Prelude II (Wuxing Interaction) was selected as one of the compositions from Hong Kong that was presented during the International Rostrum of Composers in 2017 in Palermo, Italy.


November Winds 秋意涼

Seasonal changes often stimulate the sentimentality of poets and composers toward poetic images and emotions. The composer began this string quartet on November 6, 1990, at the time of late autumn when the prevailing Eastern wind was blowing strong. The string quartet was completed in January 1991. Written during the fall and winter time, the mood of the piece is plaintive but mostly subdued in its expression.


The opening motives characterize the images of falling leaves, set against the interplay of the instruments with their rising and falling melodic contour, changing dynamics, attacks, and accents. Some sets of mysteriously harmonized chords are used as recurring pillars and for the transformation of tone colors. Near the golden section of the piece, the music becomes more agitated, using cross rhythm and trills that drive the music to a climax. After a silent pause, a quotation of a traditional Chinese melody, Zhuang Tai Qiu Si (Autumn Recollections) is brought in to symbolize an image of melancholy. Actually, fragments and motives of this tune have been dispersed and hidden among the instruments from the earlier part on. However, only after the silent pause does the tune emerge more fully to deliver the message. Towards the end, the music subsides gradually in quiet solitude, to capture the very essence of lyricism. — Ng Chun-hoi Daniel



Au Tin-yung Alex 歐天勇

Dyeing 所染

Suǒ Rǎn (所染) is an article written by the ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi during the Warring States period (453-221 BC). It says that Mozi saw white silk turned cyan when it was dyed in cyan pigment; when the white silk was dyed in yellow pigment, it became yellow. This is the same principle when it comes to music creation: one has to be prudent before making choices of different musical elements as it may affect the outcome of the music drastically. This work attempts to create musical images from the effect of colored pigment on white silk, through the interaction of three instruments merged into one sound. — Au Tin-yung Alex




Wong Chun-Wai 黃俊諱

Clouds in Twilight 暮雲

The piece is inspired by the mesmerizing sunset in Tamsui. The stillness of the clouds bathing in the scattering sunlight presents a broad and magnificent scenery that reminds humanity of how small and powerless they are. While the shape of clouds and the color of the sky do not seem to vary, one is surprised to find that they are in fact ever-changing. It is the composer’s intention to paint the scenery with a broad melodic line made up of just a simple two-note figure with a kaleidoscope of harmonic and instrumental colors in the background. Diverse musical influences from folk music, Western concert music, and film music are intricately fused in the piece, symbolizing that Nature is embracing everything.


The piece was premiered on May 9, 2015 in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s Composer Showcase Concert (conducted by Bright Sheng) and featured in the 64th International Rostrum of Composers in Italy (2017). — Wong Chun-wai

photo  Wong Chun-Wai, sunset in Tamsui

photo  Ng Chun-hoi Daniel, sunset at Kennedy Town, Hong Kong



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