Retentir, Archtype, Exuberant Dances (2005)
for flute, oboe, cello, piano and 2 percussionists
In an instant... (2004)
In "In an instant..." constantly changing, ever derivative objects shift in sudden moments. These objects, inspired by some behavior of Pipa and Gu-Jeng (Chinese instruments), hardly conceive their defined figures. They, however, generate themselves recursively and yet arouse others to form some distinctive events. Those events are always dissolved and gravitated by the timeless river- a spectrum based on symmetrical pentatonic harmony and presented in extreme registers. Beginning with a time of accelerating, the piece finally leads to a chaos of time, where all the recurring elements interwind each other to a labyrinth of dazzling complexity. The waves of sound speed up and down in time, and grow wide and narrow in space. The discourse, hopefully, is scarcely noticeable but perceived as a spiritual experience.
Fanfare under the Stars (2003)
for brass and percussion
Fanfare under the stars was awarded the First Prize of the “Fanfare” Composition Competition in the celebration of the 16th Anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. Conformed to the regulation of the competition, the piece was scored for brass and percussion, and was presented within a length of one-and-a-half minutes. It was premiered on October 31, 2003.
The inspiration was substantiated through the images of the two National Concert and Theatre Halls- illuminating at night with that marvelous Chinese-Palace architecture. The piece begins with two sounding forces between the brass and percussion. Its idea of simply perfect 4th and 5th, echoing the Chinese elements, revolves the melodic and harmonic material. The piece should be treated brilliantly that, in the midway, the horns takes on long phrases and subsequently brings out the canon.
Departure Tracings (2000)
Departure Tracings is the second in a series of works dedicated to the memory of my father. Each work in the series utilizes the pitches C and G# as points of departure and/or arrival (these two pitches come from my father's initials).
In Departure Tracings, C and G# are treated as focal pitch points on their way to and from each other. Each member of the ensemble traces a different time trajectory from and to these focal points. Ritual forms a significant subtext to the spirit of this piece, in keeping with the mysterious nature of the composition's subject matter... the death of my father.
Departure Tracings was recently premiered by EARPLAY on May 1, 2000 in ALEA spring concert. The Cal Ear Unit Ensemble gave it wonderful presentations in October 2000 and Feb 2001
Studies for 2 Pianos (1999-)
-- Study I, II and III
To compose a series of studies for 2 pianos has been in my compositional plans for some time. The idea is to employ the serial manipulation of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, new piano techniques, etc., to achieve less predictable results.
Study I explores the idea of two contrasting entities: long and loud notes (foreground) against short and soft ones (background). Midway through the piece, the 2 roles seem to exchange. (The 54-note series overwhelms the piece pitchwise, and a series of prime numbers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13, decides the number of rapid notes for the succession of each phrase.)
Study II presents accented notes in extremely fast ascending scales between the 2 pianos and a slow descent.
Study III, while the third in this series, also belongs to a series of pieces dedicated to the memory of my father. As in all these dedicatory compositions, the pitches G# and C (his initials) are highlighted.
The first 3 studies were premiered by Chris Jones and the composer in the fall 99'.
String Quartet No.2 (1998-1999)
String Quartet No. 2, inspired by the relationship between soloists and accompaniment in Chinese Opera, explores the idea of two contrasting gestures: a long-sustained note against short, "shattered" figures. The long note is held almost throughout the piece while these shattering sounds try to break up the texture. Additionally, a great deal of "sul ponticello" and harmonics are employed to simulate the high-frequency, nasal singing of the soloists.
The pitch A provides a focal point to the piece. It presents itself both in long, sustained gestures and it also forms the background of the harmonic workings of the piece. For example, field A contains two pentatonic scales on the contrary directions, both of which start from pitch A. Field B results from different placement of pitch A. (please refer to the example below.) There are two sections in the piece, and Section 2 is an extension(elongation) and clarification of Section 1. Each of sections is controlled by 2 different harmonic fields.
"String Quartet No. 2" won the first prize of the Young Composer Competition in the annual ACL (Asian Composers League) conference, and the first prize in Music Taipei 1999, the most prestigious composition competition in Taiwan.
"String Quartet No. 2" has been read by Arditti String Quartet in November 98' and the complete piece was premiered in the competition in Taiwan. It was recently presented by St. Lawrence Quartet in July 13 and Oct 13, 2000
DUET FOR CLARINETS (1994/1998)
for 2 clarinets (B-flat) and 1 bass clarinet
Duet for Clarinets explores the idea of blending and separation between the same 2 instruments. The focal pitches in sequence "F-F#-B-D-E-flat" determine the sonority of the piece. The "third" clarinet, appearing at the end of the piece, follows the gestures and figures which the other 2 clarinets have already presented; meanwhile the two clarinets simply maintain the low E-flat uninterrupted. This in some way preserves the "quality" of the duet.
Duet for Clarinets won 2 awards in 1994 from the Tzu-Chi foundation and the Chou-Shih foundation respectively.
Duet for Clarinets was performed in the new music festival "Music99" in Cincinnati in June 1999.