To An Isolated Island

 

To an Isolated Island for solo piano is in essence a love letter to my homeland, Taiwan.  As I traveled to and from Taiwan studying music abroad over the past several years, I often times found myself reflecting upon the uniqueness of our island. The four individual movements that comprise the work depict four such reflections; Taiwan’s place in the world, the bustling energy of city-life, love of tradition, and the never ending hope for the future.  

  • Duration: ca. 13 minutes
 

Treasure Box

 

Treasure Box is a set of seven short pieces for solo piano. It is a collection of works designed to explore the technical facility and musical characteristics of the piano. This idea of collecting many small works into a larger set has appeared many times in the past. Composers like Bach, Chopin, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, and many twentieth-century composers have contributed works to this genre.  The piano is an exclusive instrument, which can be presented not only as a solo instrument of subtle poetic beauty but also an instrument of great orchestral or symphonic effect. This is why I find the piano to be an extraordinary and inexhaustible medium for composers to express their ideas. With this in mind, I decided to write a set of piano works to experiment with this appealing sound world. The more works I write, the more treasures I find. 

  • Duration: ca. 12 minutes
 

Taiwanese Children's Games

 

This work Taiwanese Children’s Games for piano four-hand was commissioned by the Taiwan 88 and Taiwanese United Fund.  It contains four individual movements. Each movement is a musical representation of one type of traditional Taiwanese Children’s game. 

I. Hoop Rolling.  To roll a metal hoop on the ground requires great control and balance. The player needs to run, roll the hoop and at the same time trace the hoop. Sometimes the hoop stops suddenly and sometimes it unexpectedly runs off the path. In the beginning of this movement, the main theme contains a group of running notes followed by a sudden stop that depicts the essence of this game – motion and pause. 

II. Sword Play.  This movement presents an image of children playing the roles of heroes or heroines during a mock fight. In this game, children often play with plastic or wooden swords imbued with imaginary powers. In this movement, the melody represents the excitement of this game with clusters depicting the sound of clashing swords in an epic battle. 

 III. Haunted House.  Many dissonant chords are heard in this movement. These chords provide a sense of tension and uncertainty recalling memories of walking inside of a holiday haunted house.  

IV. Yo-Yo.  The final movement contains many running notes between both pianos. The rapid passages and the use of a wide register best represents the bouncing, mesmerizing character of the Yo-Yo.

All in all the different kinds of musical expressions in this work mimic the images of children playing these games and the emotional excitement therein.

  • Duration: ca. 7 minutes