The Desires

When you see for the first time the title, The Desires, for solo viola and orchestra, you may be wondering what are these desires? What perspective should one take?  This title is intentionally subjective. What desires do you have in your life? Money? Power? Happiness? Maybe you desire peace and a break from daily routines. In the end, the only way to find the true answer is by participating in life. 

Living in the United States has helped me look at my country, Taiwan, differently. I now have a strong desire to rediscover my own heritage. With this new desire, little by little I am finding the answers to my role as composer and more importantly a human being.

  • String orchestra version: 0000/0000/solo viola/strings
  • Chamber orchestra version: 1111/1110/solo viola/strings
  • Duration: ca. 19 minutes

The Silent Flame

The Silent Flame is a four-movement composition for French horn and chamber orchestra. It is a work designed to explore the technical facility and unique musical characteristics of the French horn.  The French horn carries a unique and exceptional sonority that enables the audience to experience an unusual musical journey. Combined with a large ensemble such as a chamber orchestra the horn can be presented not only as a solo instrument of subtle poetic beauty but also an instrument of great symphonic effect. The collaboration of these two instrumental bodies presents an extraordinary and inexhaustible medium for composers to express their ideas. With this in mind, I decided to write a work for this most appealing sound world.

The two words in the title “silent” and “flame” are conceived as the metaphor to express different meanings, images or emotions. “Silent” can be implied as an unspoken voice, an inactive behavior or movement, a condition of refraining from speech by producing no detectable signs. The word “ flame” suggests a state of mind full of desires and intense passions evoked from its direct meaning: the condition of active, blazing combustion.  Putting these two words together presents a vast array of artistic possibilities dealing with the energy of conflicts, agitation and excitement.  In each movement, I use the strength of solo horn and the chamber orchestra to reflect these various emotional states: the battle between having and longing, restraint and passion. Perhaps through the musical journey of this work, The Silent Flame, we can reflect and find similar experiences in our own unique journeys through this ever engaging, unpredictable, but rewarding life. 

  • 1111/1000/solo hn/strings
  • Duration: ca. 15 minutes

Song of the Wanderer

The world of art music has long been divided into two camps. On one side is the belief that music is meant to express and revel in our innermost human emotions.  On the other, that music must be appreciated for itself and it only, detached from the bonds of our emotions and human frailties. In the never ending quest of expression and self-discovery often times we composers take journeys through both camps. Song of the Wanderer in its unfolding reflects one such journey. Here the wanderer, like a falling seed carried far from its home by the westward wind, looks for a place to land and take root. The destination…unknown, but the journey, oh so rewarding. 

  • 3323/4331/timp. 3 perc./pn/solo cl. in B-flat/strings
  • Duration: ca. 12 minutes