Patrick Yim violin
The music on MEMORY, the Navona Records debut by acclaimed violinist Patrick Yim, is linked together by the themes of memory, culture, and identity. The album’s title track was composed by the Chinese-born composer Chen Yi who searched for a harmonious marriage of centuries-old Western and Chinese musical traditions as she remembered her beloved violin teacher, Lin Yaoji. In the liner notes for this bittersweet and poignant piece, the composer addresses her mentor directly, saying “…I expressed my deep sorrow in the music, to remember your fatherly mentorship.”
Away, Alone, Aloft, written by Kai-Young Chan, is a touching and penetrating work which draws upon an ancient Chinese tale about the loneliness and regret of the legendary Moon Lady. The melodic materials and overall character of the piece are based on a poem by Tang Dynasty poet Li Shangyin, who expressed with his words the Moon Lady’s deep emotions.
Miles upon Miles is composer Yao Chen's personal meditation on three of the myriad facets of the Silk Road, which unleashed the free flow across borders of sound. The composition’s first movement, “Silk Road,” makes strong use of tremolos and trills to evoke a specific atmosphere, a rhythmic momentum that heightens the degree of expression before ultimately fading into a more peaceful environment. “Buddhist Mantra” is marked by the use of open strings, built on a cascade of restless three-note patterns that are always striving forward until a moment when the mantra takes effect and sustained harmonics rise to the fore. Pizzicato is the dominant trait of “Kung Fu,” the closing movement, which is sprightly but sophisticated, exciting and endearing.
Miles upon Miles, composed for amplified violin and electronics by Austin Yip, is in three movements entitled “I. Gilt Bronze”, “II. Cameleer”, and “III. Sancai”, referring to the features of artifacts in the Hong Kong Museum of History’s special exhibit, Miles upon Miles: World Heritage along the Silk Road. “Gilt Bronze” refers to the materials used for a silkworm of the Han dynasty; “Cameleer” refers to a painting of a Tang dynasty cameleer, and “Sancai” refers to the colors that were used during the Tang Dynasty. In the work, field recordings of the Xinjiang Uyghur Muqam, taken in Xinjiang 2015, are operated through granular synthesis and serve as an extra dimension to the work. Miles Upon Miles was commissioned by violinist Patrick Yim in 2018.
The album’s final selection, Relics, composed by Michael-Thomas Foumai, was commissioned by Yim as a suite of companion pieces to be performed at the Hong Kong Museum of History’s special exhibit. The work is a suite of eight movements inspired by artifacts featured at the exhibition.
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"A beautiful album."
Track Listing & Credits
|01||Memory (Version for Violin)||Chen Yi||Patrick Yim, violin||3:53|
|02||Away Alone Aloft||Kai-Young Chan||Patrick Yim, violin||6:51|
|03||Miles Upon Miles: I. Silk Road||Yao Chen||Patrick Yim, violin||4:53|
|04||Miles Upon Miles: II. Buddhist Mantra||Yao Chen||Patrick Yim, violin||3:12|
|05||Miles Upon Miles: III. Kung Fu||Yao Chen||Patrick Yim, violin||3:44|
|06||Miles Upon Miles: I. Gilt Bronze||Austin Yip||Patrick Yim, violin||4:20|
|07||Miles Upon Miles: II. Cameleer||Austin Yip||Patrick Yim, violin||3:44|
|08||Miles Upon Miles: III. Sancai||Austin Yip||Patrick Yim, violin||5:07|
|09||Relics: No. 1, Beastly Treasures (Gold Mythical Beast)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||4:01|
|10||Relics: No. 2, Jeweled Loops (Necklaces)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||2:25|
|11||Relics: No. 3, Wooden Scrolls (Wooden-Slip Document Recording the Diplomatic Visit of a Sogdian Envoy)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||1:39|
|12||Relics: No. 4, Woolen Leaves (Woolen Saddle Pad with Leaf Motif)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||1:30|
|13||Relics: No. 5, Galloping Jade (Galloping Jade Stallion and Winged Rider)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||2:04|
|14||Relics: No. 6, Tomb Costume (Costume of an Aristocrat from a Tomb at Yingpan)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||3:56|
|15||Relics: No. 7, Jump Dance (Gilt Bronze Leap Dancer)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||1:18|
|16||Relics: No. 8, Buddha Rock (Buddhist Stone Carving)||Michael-Thomas Foumai||Patrick Yim, violin||3:15|
Recorded February 28 and May 29 - 30, 2019, at The Laboratory for Immersive Arts and Technology at Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
Recording Session Producer Patrick Yim
Recording Session Engineer Lai Ching Kong
Patrick Yim plays a Giuseppe Pedrazzini violin, 1921 (tracks 1-2) and a Gaetano Antoniazzi violin, 1875 (tracks 3-16)
Additional Producer on Away Alone Aloft Kai-Young Chan
Additional Producer on Miles Upon Miles for solo violin and electronics Austin Yip
Photography Pierre Lidar, pierrelidar.com
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Shaun Michaud
VP, Audio Production Jeff LeRoy
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Mastering Shaun Michaud
VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Sara Warner
Honolulu-born violinist Patrick T.S. Yim has performed throughout the world at venues including Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall (New York), Seoul Arts Center, Harpa Concert Hall (Reykjavík), Hong Kong City Hall, Severance Hall (Cleveland), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Teatro alla Scala (Milan), and the Musikverein (Vienna). Yim made his solo debut with the Honolulu Symphony and in recent years has performed concerti of Bach, Brahms, Bruch, Lalo, Mozart, and Vivaldi.
The music of this album is linked together by the themes of memory, culture, and identity. Chen Yi, a Chinese-born composer, searches for a harmonious marriage of centuries-old Western and Chinese musical traditions as she remembers her beloved violin teacher. Kai-Young Chan draws from an ancient Chinese tale about loneliness and regret in a probing and touching work. Yao Chen, Austin Yip, and Michael-Thomas Foumai write music inspired by precious cultural relics from the “Miles Upon Miles: World Heritage Along the Silk Road” exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of History; their works are unique and fresh, demonstrating that the cultures and history of the Silk Road still serve as an artistic oasis for new, bold, and innovative art after thousands of years.
This album represents a milestone in my lifelong journey as a musician in which the championing of new works by contemporary composers through commissions and performances has been a focal point. I commissioned and premiered four works on this album (Chan, Yip, Yao, and Foumai) and my inspiring work with living composers continues. I would like to express my deep appreciation and admiration for the composers whose works are presented in this album. I am grateful for our musical collaboration and personal friendship.
— Patrick Yim