In collaboration with Lemon Guo(composition).
“Transplantation” is an innovated traditional instrument that graft clarinet components (Boehm System) into Xiao (Chinese vertical flute), combined with Teensy and sensors (haptics and force). This combination allows Xiao to work as a controller and interface, sharing both operating methodologies of clarinet and Xiao. The modern Xiao has eight tone holes (the pre-20th century models have six), adapted for the Western music system and ensemble performance. Xiao relies on the resonance of the breathing, which controls tone and pitch. Teensy primarily works as an oscillator and FFT analyzer, which through a microphone inside the flute analyzes the overtone series and sonifies the FFT data in an algorithmically mediated way. This modification is not aimed to expand the register of the instrument, but to explore a new approach of control and interaction.
The music engages with the emotional, ethnographical, and political charge of material and place. Specifically, the piece explores music reconstruction and displacement in relation to a historical movement during postwar China (After 1949). Informed by personal experience, this work raises questions of systems of dissemination and cultural appropriation. Due to the call from the Chinese government, the idea of westernization while adhering to the national essence has caused an epistemic transformation of the musical practice, and lead to a movement of reconstructing folk instruments and music system, accommodating symphonic demands. Afterwards, this movement caused serious controversy and criticism. Although the war (organized massacre) has come to a temporary end, the combats on the cultural recognition and political ideology have never stopped. This composition is inspired by such historical and political issues, combined with acoustic Xiao, digital signal processing and sample triggering in Teensy, and expressing an imagination on the post-war cultural reconstruction. Overall, this work mirrors the wider idea of postcolonial identity, but explodes the expectations of a standardized sense of oriental aesthetics.
In Collaboration with Lemon Guo
“> 19980” imagines a soundscape of the inaudible. Music lies in silence in Taoist macroscopic ideology, according to which the richest sound cannot be heard, but felt. Incidentally, human hearing is limited to a narrow frequency range between 20Hz and 20kHz, which split the sound not only from the maker but also its nature. If the sound begins in silence, which exceeds the capacity of human ear, then what kind of rhythm does it create? It is common knowledge that one cannot hear sound in the outer space. However, the space, which consists of subsonic waves, is not a soundless field. The earth, on the other hand, is filled with sounds that are beyond human aural perceptions. Dolphins, Sonars, earthquakes, humidifiers, infinite number of things are producing ultrasonic and subsonic waves around us all the time. This work starts with field recordings, including that of orcas, roosters, and everyday noise. The subsonic and ultrasonic waves under 20Hz and over 20kHz are filtered from the original recordings, and sped up or slowed down into audible ranges to generate musical materials. The work extends the Taoist idea on music, reimagining sound unseen and unheard, that transcends human experience, transforming with time and space.
White River and Tremble Autumn
The Voice of Wave