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Tr i b u t e t o C h o u We n - c h u n g

Music by His Teacher, His Colleagues and His Distinguished Disciples


Pacific Rim Music Festival 2003
Raison d’être Zhou Long came from PRC to study at Columbia University with Chou,
and Zhou’s significant other, Chen Yi, soon followed. She joined him in the
The two programs on this double CD were presented at the Pacific Rim doctoral program in composition at Columbia. She also served as Chou’s
Music Festival in 2003 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They were assistant at the U.S.-China Arts Exchange. Since then, Zhou and Chen have
offered as part of the Festival’s tribute to Chou Wen-chung in honor of his composed prolifically and had tremendously successful careers.
eightieth birthday. These twelve compositions, each by a different composer, Chou met Joji Yuasa at an Asian Music Festival in Hawaii. Chou sensed
span the years from Intégrales (1925), by Edgard Varèse, to Edmund that Yuasa was different from most Japanese composers. Impressed by
Campion’s Melt Me So with Thy Delicious Numbers (2002). The composers Yuasa’s enthusiasm for electronic music, Chou encouraged Yuasa’s work,
—Joji Yuasa, Isang Yun, Chinary Ung, Hi Kyung Kim, Edgard Varèse, Bright supported his application for a position at the University of California at San
Sheng, Zhou Long, Pablo Ortiz, Edmund J. Campion, James Tenney, and Diego, and has remained a close friend.
Chen Yi—come from countries separated by many miles: Japan, South Korea, After hearing Chou’s Cursive, Chinary Ung, approached Chou hoping to
Cambodia, France, the PRC, Argentina, and the United States. These works become a student. Despite Ung’s limited preparation, Chou kept the door open.
were presented on two concerts (2 and 3 April 2003) during the Pacific Rim “Can you write a single melody,” Chou asked, “not relying upon any system—
Music Festival at the University of California, Santa Cruz. What brought not a pentatonic melody, a twelve-tone melody, or a tonic/dominant melody, but
these works together is an individual who figures prominently in the lives of a melody of pure expression and your own invention?” The test was successful.
the eleven composers: Chou Wen-chung (b. 29 June 1923). Ultimately, Ung completed the composers’ program at Columbia. According to
Some of these composers—Bright Sheng, Edmund Campion, and Pablo Chou, “Even today, Ung’s independence in musical thinking is outstanding.”
Ortiz—had conventional relationships with Chou: They were his students at James Tenney was Chou’s first student. Tenney had not gone to college
Columbia University. yet. He approached Varèse, who in turn referred him to Chou. Tenney’s
In the case of Isang Yun, the details are hair-raising. Yun, among the earliest lessons were highly personalized, experimental, and exploratory. Tenney
Asian composers to come to the West, began attracting attention in the 1950s. went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree at Bennington College.
He had been living in Berlin but suddenly vanished; South Korean secret agents Chou’s relationship with Edgard Varèse is discussed in detail in the essay
had kidnapped him. Chou joined with Elliott Carter and called upon the White on Chou. Suffice it to say that both men became deeply indebted to one
House for action. They kept pressure up by participating in a panel discussion another for a wide variety of reasons.
broadcast by the Columbia University radio station. Ultimately, Yun’s release As Hi Kyung Kim, the founder and Artistic Director of the Pacific Rim
was won. When Chou organized the 1990 Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Music Festival has so aptly noted, the Festival programs of 2003 honor Chou
Japan, Yun was one of the principal participants. Wen-chung’s life and his contributions toward communication between
Hi Kyung Kim was accepted by Yun as his last student while she stayed in Eastern and Western cultures. His remarkable vision, leadership and creativity
Paris (1988–90). Due to unfortunate political pressures, she was unable to are representative of the aesthetic objectives and values of the Pacific Rim
complete her study with him. She got to know Chou, invited him to her Pacific Music Festival. The Pacific Rim Music Festival at the University of California,
Rim Music Festival in 1996, and they have been friends and colleagues since. Santa Cruz was founded in 1996.
The Music of the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, offered Chou a position in the
orchestra, but Chou realized that it would not be in his best interest to
Chou Wen-chung (Yantai, China; 29 become an orchestral musician in war-torn China.
June 1923), a remarkable composer, scholar, Chou emigrated in 1946. He traveled first to New Haven, Connecticut,
and teacher, moved to Wuhan (Hankow) where he had been offered a full scholarship to study architecture at Yale
around 1930. It was there that his fascination University. Almost immediately, he forsook that path and set out for Boston,
with music began. In 1937 when the Japanese Massachusetts. At the New England Conservatory, Chou studied with Carl
invaded China, he moved to Shanghai, which McKinley, William Storey Smith, and Nicholas Slonimsky. Smith introduced
offered both a fine municipal orchestra and Chou to the music of Edgard Varèse, whom Chou met in 1949. He became
German and Czarist Russian refugee musicians a pupil of Varèse, then a friend, and eventually—at the request of Varèse
who taught and gave concerts. In this environ- himself—the custodian of his music. Slonimsky’s great contribution to the
ment, Chou studied at the Shanghai Music formation of Chou’s mature style was his advice that Chou study his
School (Yinyue Guan). Chou, having already Chinese cultural heritage.
assembled a collection of Chinese traditional When the People’s Republic of China was formed in October 1949,
music, began collecting recordings of Western the allowance that Chou had received from his family stopped. He
classical music. Under the guidance of an followed his brother to New York City, where he studied briefly with
Italian cellist in the Shanghai Orchestra, he also had his first encounter Bohuslav Martinu. Varèse also lived in New York. Although Chou knew of
with ancient Western modes. These modes are defined by their distinctive Varèse, the person who was responsible for getting the two men together
configurations of half-steps and whole-steps as well as by the characteristic was the composer Colin McPhee. Though confident that Varèse would be
motifs associated with those intervallic configurations. (For Chou, these the ideal teacher for Chou, McPhee warned Chou that any imitation of
modes opened a path that led many years later to his Variable Modes.) In Varèse would be fatal.
the fall of 1941, Chou began studying architecture at St. John’s University. Chou’s “audition” piece with Varèse was his tone poem Landscapes,
The Pacific War forced him to flee Shanghai. (He penetrated the Japanese which made a favorable impression. When the question of tuition arose,
Imperial Navy’s blockade on an armed junk.) At Guilin (Kweilin) in Guangxi Varèse told Chou that payment was unnecessary, preferring instead that
Province, he enrolled at Guangxi National University. Inspired by the ancient “someday you can give me a gong.”
gardens of the campus, he decided to become a musician or a poet. During his apprenticeship with Varèse, Chou began to find his compositional
As the Japanese advanced on Guilin during the summer of 1944, Chou voice. Varèse encouraged the development of an intrinsic style, one rooted in
escaped once again—this time by jumping on board the last train departing the persona of the composer himself. Varèse did not rely on formulas or theo-
the falling city. He hitch-hiked to Chongqing (Chungking), where he completed retical models; instead, he held to the mantra “You have to find your own way.”
his BS degree at Chongqing University in 1945. Wang Renyi, the conductor
Chou’s work with Varèse was conducted in accordance with the the academic growth of the newly formed School of the Arts, established
ancient tradition of the master teacher and the pupil. In the modern the first graduate course on Chinese music, and taught the first Asian
world, however, degrees from accredited institutions are prerequisites Music Humanities course at Columbia.
to career advancement; thus, Chou enrolled in a Master’s program at Chou’s music integrates Western art music and traditional Chinese
Columbia University, where he had already been taking courses. Chou’s music. His mature works employ Variable Modes that Chou derived from
matriculated at Columbia began in 1952. His professor of composition the trigrams and hexagrams of the I ching (book of changes), which is
was Otto Luening. Chou completed his Master of Arts degree in 1954. predicated upon three philosophical premises: the dynamic balance of
His graduation piece was the tone poem All in the Spring Wind. opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and the inevitability of
At the conclusion of Chou’s Master’s program, he applied for and won change. Chou Variable Modes can be used not only to organize pitch
a Rockefeller Foundation research grant. From 1955 until 1957, he investi- content, but also parameters such as duration, timbre, and so on.
gated classical Chinese music—particularly repertoire for the qin—as well Chou’s studies with Varèse ended in 1954, but their friendship continued.
as a related topics including “Chinese painting, calligraphy, poetry, and On 7 August 1965, Louise Varèse invited Chou to 188 Sullivan Street in
philosophy.” Recognition of his achievements as a composer came in lower Manhattan. He met first with Louise, then with the eighty-one-year-
the form of a commission in 1954 from the Louisville Orchestra for And old composer, who asked Chou: “Will you take care of my music?” Chou
the Fallen Petals, and in 1958, his first commercial recording, Landscapes. replied: “Yes, of course.” When Varèse died on 5 November, Chou made
In that same year, Chou became a naturalized citizen of the United good on that promise. The results include numerous painstakingly
States, and he landed his first academic post: This was as a Research executed editions of Varèse’s music, and the preservation of Varèse’s
Associate in Music at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. musical estate. In 2003, Chou transferred the “Varèse Archive” to the
In December of 1959, Chou established a professional relationship with Paul Sacher Stiftung.
the prestigious music publisher C.F. Peters, the firm that has been Chou’s Chou’s work with Varèse’s estate, his responsibilities at Columbia
principal publisher throughout his career. University, and an entirely new project—the establishment of the U.S.-China
Returning to New York City in 1960, Chou took academic positions at Arts Exchange—led to a standstill in compositional activity following the
Brooklyn College (1961–62), then at Hunter College (1963–64). While on completion of Pien (changes; 1966) and Yün (resonance; 1969).
the faculty of Hunter College, Chou won an award from the American Chou’s Center for U.S.-China Arts Exchange was inaugurated in
Academy of Arts and Letters (1963). Soon after, Jack Beeson called Chou October of 1978. In 1979, Chou began broadening the scope of the
to invite him to join the faculty of Columbia University. Chou took the organization. Soon, collaborative projects involved personnel from
position, earned a promotion in 1968, and became a Full Professor in 1972. Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
In 1969, he succeeded Otto Luening as Chairman of the doctoral program Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and the Philippines.
for composers. During the next two decades, he expanded the program and The understanding of “arts” was broadened to include the performing
diversified its student population. He spent more than a decade overseeing and plastic arts as well as architecture, fashion and textile design, urban
design, environmental protection, holistic medicine, historic preservation, esthetically captured by the calligrapher’s brush with as little artificiality as
cultural conservancy, and tourism. a single limpid stroke. Therefore, again, there is no attempt for Windswept
In 1989, shortly before his retirement from Columbia University in 1991, Peaks to sound programmatic or descriptive. Instead, as in calligraphy, the
Chou completed his percussion quartet, Echoes from the Gorge. Other late goal is to internalize momentous events and emotions into a distilled artistic
works include his Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (1992), expression through the coordinated flow of the four parts.
Windswept Peaks (1990), String Quartet No. 1, Clouds (1996), String Windswept Peaks is dedicated to the spirit of the Chinese intellectuals,
Quartet No. 2, Streams (2003), and Twilight Colors (2007) for flute, oboe, traditionally known as wenren, meaning literally “men of the arts.” For
clarinet, and violin, viola, and cello. thousands of years, they have been the true leaders of society, giving
Windswept Peaks (June 1990), a consortium commission by the character to the Chinese civilization and serving as the conscience of the
Aeolian Chamber Players, is conceived as a double duo for violin/cello and people. Above all, they have given us some of the finest poetry, painting,
clarinet/piano. The four parts progress in pairs and are evolved from the and music. Frequently suppressed and persecuted, they stand tall among
same pitch source. Six double modes, each with different ascending and the mightiest peaks in the history of humanity. The image of windswept
descending orders, transform themselves continually into each other. Four peaks suggests the unadorned beauty of inner strength, as symbolized by
of these are stated simultaneously on all four instruments at any given the gnarled pines and craggy rocks. Soon after I started composing this
time. These modes consist of interlocking pitches and reflective intervals. peace, this stark imaginary began to permeate my musical thinking when
They are, however, defined further by time, register, timbre, and loudness, the tragic events of 4 June 1989 at Tiananmen took place.
all of which join to shape the progression of each of the parts. The pro- Joji Yuasa (12 August 1929; Koriyama, Japan), a self-taught composer,
gression of vertical relations is in turn the result of the linear progressions became interested in music while a pre-medical student at Keio University.
interacting with each other. In 1952, he turned to music full-time when he joined the Experimental
These structural principals are based on the philosophy of I ching (book Workshop in Tokyo. Since then, Yuasa has composed orchestral, choral,
of change). The linear progressions, however, are guided by the concepts and chamber music, music for theater, intermedia, electronic, and computer
of shufa, or the art of calligraphy, according to which, pressure, direction, music. From 1981 to 1994, he worked in music research and education at
continuity, speed, and viscosity must be coordinated to propel the flow of the University of California, San Diego. Presently, he teaches at the Graduate
ink with desired contour, density, and texture. Despite these influences, School in the Art Department of Nihon University and at the Tokyo College
there is no intention to make the music “appear” to be “oriental” or Chinese. of Music.
The Chinese term for “windswept peaks,” shan tao, is an esthetic
expression that is widely used in literature, visual arts, and music— Projection for String Trio
particularly the music for qin (i.e., zither), which greatly influences my I have been composing pieces under the same title since 1955, and
musical thoughts. Shan means “mountain”; tao means “powerful waves.” this turns out to be the thirteenth one. I took the word “projection” from
The cross currents of these waves of sound over mountain peaks can be Jean-Paul Sartre’s “projet,” which I understand as expressing ideas and
intentions in terms of time and projecting them into the future. As with This lively piece reflects the characteristics of piri music… In contrast to his
Projection for String Quartet I and II, the task I faced was finding a way earlier pieces, the individual melodic lines of Piri are less melismatic. In this
of composing my own music without being constrained by the form of piece, these melodic lines gradually expand. The extension of phrases and
string quartet, an old vessel that has been established for a great many their melodic compass stretches the breathing abilities of the player to the
years. This particular piece lasts approximately twelve minutes and maximum and suggests further expansion.
includes extended techniques, inviting the listener onto a new journey. According to Yun, the theme represents a convict confined in a prison.
Its unifying principles are atonality predicated on a twelve-tone row and Although he is physically captive, his spirit is free to wonder far and wide.
musical narrative developing along the axis of time. I emphasize this The last part consists solely of multiple tones signifying his earnest prayer.
narrative nature of sound because I am convinced that this offers the Chinary Ung (24 November 1942; Takeo, Cambodia) came to the United
greatest potential for the future of music that employs existing musical States in 1964 to study clarinet and conducting at the Manhattan School of
instruments. (Joji Yuasa) Music. He studied composition with Chou Wen-chung and completed his
Isang Yun (17 September 1917; Tongyông, Korea–3 November 1995; Berlin, D.M.A. in composition at Columbia University in 1974. Since 1977, he has
Germany) began composing at fourteen. His formal training began at the taught at Northern Illinois University, Connecticut College, University of
Osaka Conservatory and continued in Tokyo with Tomojiro Ikenouchi. Yun’s Pennsylvania, and Arizona State University. He has been Professor of
opposition to the Japanese occupation resulted in his imprisonment from Composition at the University of California at San Diego since 1995. In
1943 until the end of World War II. Winning the Seoul City Culture Award in 1989, Ung’s orchestral piece Inner Voices was the first composition by an
1955 enabled him to study in Paris and Berlin (1956–1959). In Berlin he American composer to receive the international Grawemeyer Award.
learned serial composition from the Schönberg student Josef Rufer. After
being abducted from Berlin and imprisoned in Seoul, South Korea from 1967 Grand Alap
until 1969, he was released owing to international expressions of outrage. The word alap refers to the opening passage of raga music. In the
From 1970 to 1985, Yun taught composition at Berlin’s Hochschule der Künste music of India, the alap tends to display improvisational materials that
(college of arts). His compositions include four operas, numerous orchestral relate to the ensuing music, yet the alap is deep expressive. In Grand Alap,
works, chamber pieces, and choral compositions. His style is marked by a the opening serves as a kind of ritual offering to all surrounding spirits
synthesis of the Eastern and Western musical traditions through the combina- and is a request for permission to begin the performance. The subtitle,
tion of East Asian performance techniques with European instruments. “A Window in the Sky,” is a reference to the recent scientific discovery
(with the assistance of the Hubble telescope) of hundreds of galaxies and
Piri perhaps relates to the expository quality of the work and its expansiveness.
Yun’s Piri (1971) was written for oboe, but Eduard Brunner played the
first performance on the clarinet. The piri is a traditional Korean instru-
ment similar to the oboe, and corresponding to the Japanese hichiriki.
Grand Alap requires the percussionist to be male and the cellist to be Intégrales
female, as each of them has a vocal part which is both separate and related Intégrales is the largest of Varèse’s ensemble pieces, both in the dimension
to their instrumental parts. Each of them is required to articulate certain of its form and in orchestral size. The principal divisions in the form are as
phonemes as well as to sing. Some of the phonemes are derivative of the follows: in Section I the open clarinet motive is developed by trumpet, oboe,
sounds used to communicate in regions of Southeast Asia, while others and clarinet, alternately, in high register, and in dialogue with sharply
resemble words in ancient languages. Grand Alap consists of countless articulated chords from the brass; unequal metrical units help vary the
fragments strung together like beads on a necklace. Some of these repetitions; a short percussion passage leads to II, in which the same
fragments bear distinct references to particular personae. The sections thematic material is stated in the bass register in low horn accompanied
entitled “Entering into Trance” and “In Trance” require the percussionist by low trombones and percussion, answered by a tutti in which a high
to execute those fragments while in a kind of altered state, or as if thrown trombone, playing a new version of the original motive, is predominant.
into an unearthly dimension. In “An Angel Voice,” the cellist sings a musical Section III, an Allegro, is marked by a rapid trumpet figure in wide intervals.
phrase with a pure and balanced expression, as if coming from a heavenly This is followed by a Lento, a Presto, another Lento, and another Presto.
place. “Rising On the Seventh Day” symbolizes a “rebirth” of the soul, Section IV, the conclusion of the piece, opens with percussion alone. An oboe
which is a reference to traditional Khmer theatre. (Susan Ung) solo follows. Fragments of the Presto interrupt this section, and the piece
Edgard Varèse (22 December 1883; Paris, France–6 November 1965; ends with a return to the second Lento (Section III). (Chou Wen-Chung)
New York City, USA) studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum (1903–5) Hi Kyung Kim (15 March 1954; Seoul, South Korea) received a B.A. in
and Widor at the Paris Conservatoire (1905–7). He then moved to Berlin, composition from Seoul National University, and the M.A. and Ph.D. from
where he met Richard Strauss and Ferruccio Busoni. In 1913 he returned the University of California, Berkeley. Currently Kim is a professor at the
to Paris, but in 1915 he immigrated to New York. At the time of this move, University of California at Santa Cruz and artistic director of the Pacific Rim
all his compositions disappeared with the exception of a single published Music Festival. Kim has won numerous honors, awards, and commissions
song and the orchestral tone poem Bourgogne (1908), which he took with including the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy and
him but destroyed toward the end of his life. His creative output therefore Institute of Arts and Letters, a commission from the Serge Koussevitzsky
effectively begins with Amériques for large orchestra (1921), which, for all Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, another from the Fromm
its echoes of Debussy and of Stravinsky’s early ballets, sets out to discover Music Foundation, as well as a Fulbright Scholar Award, and more. Kim’s
new worlds of sound: fiercely dissonant chords, rhythmically complex most recent commissions include a string quartet for the Alexander String
polyphonies for percussion and/or wind, and forms in continuous evolution quartet and a special project entitled “Commemorating World War II,”
with no large-scale recurrence. His last years were devoted to projects on commissioned by Meet the Composer, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Chamber Music
themes of night and death, including the unfinished Nocturnal for voices Society of Minnesota.
and chamber orchestra (1961).
Trio Sori the New York Philharmonic performed H’un in six cities on their 1993
Trio Sori is written based on the impressive sounds of insects that I European tour, and it was featured at the 1994 Warsaw Autumn Festival
heard when I went to Korea in late summer of 2002. Sounds of maemi by Poland’s National Philharmonic.
(cicada), mosquito, and cricket moved my heart very much. In the garden The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Tanglewood Music
with lots of trees, maemis were singing constantly as if they were in the Center, Shanghai Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Accademia
choir; the whining sound of mosquitoes kept me awake at night; the sound Nazionale de Santa Cecilia, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society
of crickets joined with maemi. I composed an ensemble piece for have commissioned and performed works by Sheng. Individuals including
daegeum (Korean bamboo flute), clarinet, cello with these insects’ sounds Leonard Bernstein, Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Cho-Liang Lin, Gerard
in mind. This piece was written for Sound Clock Contemporary Ensemble Schwarz, David Zinman, and Hugh Wolff have done the same. His recent
in New York. (Hi Kyung Kim) premieres include Prelude for Orchestra (Houston Symphony, 1994), China
Bright Sheng (6 December 1955; Shanghai, China) began piano studies Dreams (Seattle Symphony, 1995), and Seven Tunes Heard in China (Yo-yo
with his mother at the age of four. After graduating from high school during Ma, 1995). The New York Philharmonic gave the US premiere of his
the Cultural Revolution he was one of the first students accepted by the Fanfare No. 1: Arrows to the Page (February 1996). Spring Dreams, a work
Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he earned his undergraduate commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Yo-Yo Ma and the National Traditional
degree in music composition. In 1982, he moved to New York, where he Orchestra of China (February 1997), was subsequently taken on tour
attended Queens College, City University of New York, and Columbia through the United States. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra commis-
University. Among his main teachers were Leonard Bernstein, Chou sioned Postcards (January 1998), a fifteen-minute orchestral work.
Wen-chung, Mario Davidovsky, George Perle, and Hugo Weisgall. Sheng’s discography includes a recording on the Delos label of The
Sheng won a number of prizes in China and the United States. He was Song of Majnun with the Houston Grand Opera; and on the New World
the artistic director of the San Francisco Symphony’s “Wet Ink 93” Festival. label of H’un and chamber music featuring Peter Serkin, Lisa Saffer, and
In that same year, he was composer-in-residence with the Santa Fe Chamber the New York Chamber Symphony under Gerard Schwarz.
Music Festival. In April 1992 he began a two-year tenure as composer-
in-residence with the Seattle Symphony; during 1994–95 he served as Four Movements for Piano Trio
Artist-in-Residence for the University of Washington. Four Movements For Piano Trio was commissioned by the Walter W.
Major ensembles and soloists around the world have performed Sheng’s Naumburg Foundation for the Peabody Trio. The work was first performed
music. The highly acclaimed H’un (Lacerations): In Memoriam 1966–76, by the Peabody Trio at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City on
his dramatic orchestral portrait of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, has 24 April 1990.
had performances by the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, The folkloric style and prelude-like first movement of Four Movements
Cleveland Orchestra, the Baltimore, San Francisco, Honolulu, Milwaukee For Piano Trio is constructed through the use of heterophony, a device
and Kansas City symphonies, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Kurt Masur and typical of Asian music. The second movement of the work is based on a
humorous and joyful folk song from Se-Tsuan. In the third movement, a process expresses the transition from the mundane to the serene, and
savage dance, the melody grows through a series of “Chinese sequences” ultimately to purification. In order to realize this artistic conception, the
(my own term to describe a type of melodic development each time the distinguishing features of various instruments were fully employed. For
initial motive is repeated, consequently lengthening its duration and instance, the sounds of bells, chimes, gongs were suggested by playing
widening the tessitura). The last movement evokes a lonesome nostalgia. inside of the piano; the sounds of temple blocks and the various sonorities
(Bright Sheng) of the guqin (Chinese zither) were recreated with string instruments;
Zhou Long (8 July 1953, Beijing) is a Chinese-American composer of the reciting style associated with the vertical Chinese bamboo flute was
orchestral, chamber, and vocal works that have been widely performed. transferred to woodwinds using glissandos and microtones. Dhyana is
Zhou began piano lessons at an early age. During the Cultural Revolution, dedicated to Chou Wen-Chung, Zhou Long’s teacher of composition at
he was sent to a rural state farm, where natural scenes of roaring winds Columbia University in New York City.
and fierce land fires made profound impressions on him. In 1977, he Pablo Ortiz (1 May 1956) studied in his native Buenos Aires, where
enrolled in the newly reopened Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. he received a degree from the Universidad Catolica. At twenty-seven,
After graduating in 1983, he was appointed composer-in-residence with he moved to New York to study at Columbia University. He is currently
the National Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra of China. He immigrated Professor of Composition at the University of California, Davis. He taught
to the United States in 1985 and is now a citizen. He completed his doctor- composition and was co-director of the Electronic Music Studio at the
ate in 1993 at Columbia University under the tutelage of Chou Wen-chung University of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 1994. The Buenos Aires Philarmonic,
and Mario Davidovsky. He received the Adventurous Programming Award the Arditti String Quartet, the Ensemble Contrechamps of Geneva, Music
from ASCAP in 1999. Mobile, Continuum, the Helsinki Cello Ensemble, Les Percussions de
Strasbourg, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and the
Dhyana Theatre of Voices have performed his compositions. Festivals in Salzburg
Dhyana (1990) for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano, won the (Aspekte), Geneva (Extasis), Strasbourg (Musica), Havana, Frankfurt,
5th International Composition Competition (1991) in d’Avray City, France. Zurich, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City have featured his works.
It was inspired by the “cultivation of thought” in Buddhism. Dhyana is He was a fellow at the Composers’ Conference at Wellesley College (1986,
the perfect absorption of thought into the one object of meditation, the 1988), and he won a commission from the Fromm Foundation (1992).
gathering and focusing of scattered thoughts to arrive at enlightenment. In 1993, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1996 he received the
The music is based on the concept of “knowing with clear mind,” of ven- Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
turing from existence into nothingness. The pitch content “progresses” In 1997 and 1998, the Centro Experimental Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires
from complex to simple, the rhythms from dense to relaxed, the range commissioned two chamber operas from him, Parodia and Una voz en el
from tight to open, the timbre from colorful to monochromatic, and the viento. In 1999 the Koussevitzky Foundation commissioned Raya en el mar
special disposition of sonorities from foreground to background. This for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2000 he received a
grant from Fideicomiso para la cultura Mexico-US to write children’s Melt Me So with Thy Delicious Numbers
songs based on poems by Francisco Alarcon, renowned Chicano poet and Melt Me So with Thy Delicious Numbers is written for solo viola with
Mission artist. Recently, the Gerbode Foundation commissioned Oscuro live computer accompanist. The poetic line is lifted from a text by Robert
for Chanticleer and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (pre- Herrick (1591–1674) entitled To Music, To Becalm His Fever. I became
miered March 2004). His music—which includes chamber and solo works, familiar with this otherwise lackluster poem after hearing several song
vocal, orchestral, and electronic compositions, and music for plays and settings by other composers including those of Elliott Carter, Paul
films—has been issued by Albany Records. Hindemith, and Ned Rorem. (Edmund Campion)
James Tenney (10 August 1934; Silver City, New Mexico–24 August
Hipermilonga alla Thomas Bernhard 2006; Valencia, California) grew up in Arizona and Colorado, where he
Hipermilonga alla Thomas Bernhard is an attempt to translate into music began his training as a pianist and composer. He attended the University
some of the characteristic obsessive behaviors present in Bernhard’s literary of Denver, the Juilliard School of Music, Bennington College (B.A. 1958),
works. The piece has a tangoesque surface, where simple motives develop and the University of Illinois (M.A. 1961). His teachers and mentors included
slowly but passionately. It was written for the Verdehr Trio. Eduard Steuermann, Chou Wen-Chung, Lionel Nowak, Carl Ruggles, Lejaren
Edmund J. Campion was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1957. He completed Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, Edgard Varèse, Harry Partch, and John Cage. A
his Doctorate in composition at Columbia University in New York City. performer, composer, and theorist, he was co-founder and conductor of
Between 1989 and 1996 he lived in France where he studied with Gérard the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York City (1963–70). A pioneer
Grisey. In 1993 he was selected by the IRCAM reading panel to pursue the in electronic and computer music, he worked with Max Mathews at the
“Cursus de composition” and was commissioned by IRCAM to compose Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early 1960s to develop programs for
Natural Selection (1996), a large-scale work for interactive electronics and computer sound-generation and composition. He wrote works for various
midi-grand piano. He is now Professor of Composition at the University of media, both instrumental and electronic, many of them using alternative
California, Berkeley, where he also serves as the Composer in Residence at tuning systems. He wrote articles on musical acoustics, computer music,
the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies. Recent projects include and musical form and perception, as well as two books: META / HODOS:
a Radio France Commission (1999) for l’Autre, created in collaboration A Phenomenology of 20th-Century Musical Materials and an Approach to
with the poet John Campion, and the ballet Playback (commissioned by the Study of Form (1961; Frog Peak, 1988) and A History of “Consonance”
IRCAM and the Socitété des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) in and “Dissonance” (Excelsior, 1988). A teacher since 1966, he was
collaboration with the choreographer François Raffinot. Distinguished Research Professor at York University (Toronto), where he
taught for twenty-four years, and last held the Roy E. Disney Family Chair
in Musical Composition at the California Institute of the Arts.
Harmonium #5 Award (1996), the CalArts/Alpert Award (1997), the UT Eddie Medora King
Harmonium #5 is one of a set of pieces—all based on the same harmonic Composition Prize (1999), the ASCAP Concert Music Award (2001), the
progression moving through the circle of fifths—for various instrumental Elise Stoeger Award (2002) from Chamber Music Society of Lincoln
combinations. The piece is a fairly strict canon, in three voices, at the fifth, Center, the Friendship Ambassador Award from Edgar Snow Fund (2002),
with an eleven-bar entry-interval. Its formal-rhythmic structure is of a type an Honorary Doctorate from Lawrence University (2002), and UMKC
first explored by John Cage in the late 1930s, in which the number of seg- Kauffman Award in Artistry/Scholarship (2006). The Chinese Ministry of
ments in a piece is the same as the number of measures in each segment Education appointed her for three years beginning in 2006 as Changjiang
(here, eleven), and measures are grouped within each segment in the same Scholar Visiting Professor at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music.
proportions as segments are grouped within the piece as a whole (in this Her music is published by Theodore Presser Company, performed world
case, as 5+3+3); accordingly, the work is dedicated to John Cage. The wide, and recorded on Bis, New Albion, CRI, Teldec, Nimbus, Cala, Avant,
Array Ensemble and the Ontario Arts Council commissioned the piece. Atma, Hugo, Angel, Albany, Koch International Classics, Delos, Centaur,
Chen Yi (4 April 1953; Guangzhou, China) is a prolific composer who Eroica, Capstone, Quartz, New World, and China Record Company.
blends Chinese and Western traditions. She won the Charles Ives Living
Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. She is Qi
the Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of the University of Qi uses a combination of western instruments to create Asian sounds
Missouri, Kansas City, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and to express my feeling of qi (also written as chi; it is a name for the life
& Sciences in 2005. She completed her Bachelor and Master degrees in force). It is untouchable, mysterious, yet strong and powerful. It melts into
music composition at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and the Doctor air and light, like the space in Chinese paintings or the dancing lines of
of Musical Arts degree at Columbia University, New York City. She studied Chinese calligraphy. It is also the spirit in the human mind. In this work,
composition with Wu Zu-qiang, Chou Wen-chung, Mario Davidovsky, and Chen translates qi into music in a quite free and slow tempo. Passages of
Alexander Goehr. She has been composer-in-residence for the Women’s dense textures create tension. These are the sounds of the inner voices
Philharmonic, Chanticleer, and the Aptos Creative Arts Center (1993–96) and spirits of human beings experiencing this eternal power. (Chen Yi)
with support from Meet The Composer. From 1996 to 1998, she taught
composition at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.
She has won fellowships and commissions from the Guggenheim
Foundation (1996), American Academy of Arts and Letters (1996), the
Fromm Foundation (1994), the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the
Library of Congress (1997), and the National Endowment for the Arts
(1994). Honors include a first prize from the Chinese National Composition
Competition (1985), the Lili Boulanger Award (1993), the NYU Sorel Medal
The Artists Empyrean Ensemble offers audiences opportunities to hear original
works by emerging and established composers. They have premiered nearly
Ensemble Parallèle, founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Nicole Paiement, two hundred works at many prominent music festivals and concert series.
specializes in contemporary music and multidisciplinary art. Striving to make Empyrean has recorded two CDs (Centaur and Arabesque labels) and has
new music both accessible and visible, the ensemble fosters interactions been featured on others recordings. Founded in 1988 by composer Ross
with other artistic media. Under Paiement’s baton, Ensemble Parallèle has Bauer as the ensemble-in-residence at UC Davis, Empyrean Ensemble now
completed over ten world première recordings that range from music by consists of seven core musicians and is co-directed by composers Laurie
Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison to commissioned works by Elinor Armer San Martin and Kurt Rohde.
and Dusan Bogdanovich. The ensemble has toured in California, performing J. Karla Lemon has conducted performances throughout the United States,
for the Pacific Rim Music Festival, the April in Santa Cruz Festival, and pre- Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany, and China. She led the Stanford
senting the première of Korean-American composer Hi Kyung Kim’s theater Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York City, and performed with
piece Rituel III at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. In the summer of 2004, them in London and Paris. Lemon is known for innovative programming
the group toured in Australia and participated in the Asian-American-Australian and for her advocacy of living composers. She has conducted and recorded
Sound-Dance and Multi-Media Connections. premiere performances of works by Joan Tower, Philip Glass, Chen Yi,
Paiement is also the Director of Ensembles at the University of California Eric Moe, Wayne Peterson, Libby Larsen, and Ellen Taafe Zwilich. After nine
at Santa Cruz and the Artistic Director of the New Music Ensemble at the years as Director of Orchestras at Stanford University, Lemon was appointed
San Francisco Conservatory. In 2002, Paiement, with the support of the San in 2002 as conductor of the University of Pennsylvania and the Delaware
Francisco Conservatory of Music, founded the BluePrint project. Through County Youth Orchestra in Philadelphia.
BluePrint and Ensemble Parallèle, Paiement has commissioned many works —Mark Radice (Musicologist, Ithaca College School of Music)
from an international roster of composers.
Paiement has conducted and recorded many new operas including
Harrison’s final version of Young Caesar. She has been guest conductor
for the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Contemporary Opera
Company, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Kochi
Ensemble from Japan, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Monterey
Jazz Festival Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and the
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Paiement has recorded for Mode Records,
New Albion, Kleos, and MSR records.
Producer: Hi Kyung Kim, Artistic Director, This CD is made possible in part
Pacific Rim Music Festival by the support of the University
Mastering Engineer: William Coulter of California Santa Cruz Arts
Notes: Mark Radice Research Institute and the
Cover art work: from Chou Wen-chung’s music sketch Spiralis Music Trust.

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