Interior




year: 1987    instrumentation: chamber septet and tape   
score sample: click here   

In 1987 the composer visited China and searched out the music of some of China’s so-called minority peoples. Field records made on this visit form the core of the work: the instrumental writing is mean as an enchancing backdrop to direct our listening to the ‘interior’ of the music.

First heard is the long-ge, a three-bladed Jews harp of the Yi nationality (Sichuan province). Next three women of the Miao nationality (Guizhou province) sing a melody of strong character with long notes and leaping intervals further enhanced by the gradual melting into a unison. The words mean “though we die, our songs like mountains, go on forever”. Finally we hear an ensemble of lusheng played by youths of the Ge nationality (Guizhou province) accompanying a dance. This six-piped bamboo mouth organ is common in the south of China and is found in various forms throughout Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and parts of Indonesia.

Notes taken from Ritual Auras, Atoll CD (ACD 842)


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