A Faint Light
Metadata[+] Show full item record
My orchestra piece, A Faint Light, has an introduction, five sections (Entering the mountain, The battle of ghosts I, Asking the God of the mountain, The battle of ghosts II, and The answer to the heart), and a coda. It consists of two main musical materials: a dance-like motive with irregular accents, and a pentatonic thematic melody. The two materials have been developed throughout the piece. The motive was derived from a sacrifice dance from Yunnan, a province located in southwest China. The thematic melody was inspired by a Chinese fairy tale about a recluse named Han Guang. In Chinese, Han Guang also means a faint light, which became the title of this work. I was impressed by the faith of the recluse in the story. He persisted in the path he chose even though he knew that the faith he pursued would never come true. I used pointillistic writing techniques in juxtaposed multi-layers and imitated the performing skills of Chinese plucking instruments in the strings. To highlight the images of each section, I used different percussion instruments respectively. For example, in the second and the fourth sections to describe the fighting scene, I used a snare drum, tom-toms, and bass drum. In the third section, I used sistrum and woodblocks to express the atmosphere of Zen. While the imagination of the fairy tale scene was portrayed in the introduction and the coda, the seed of the thematic melodic material was planted in the first section. The complete melody was initiated in the third section with strings. The further development of the melodic material brought in thicker and richer textures in the fifth section with intensive counterparts, until the climax was reached in orchestra tutti before the peaceful coda brought in, recalling the atmosphere of Zen depicted at the beginning of the piece.
Table of Contents
Instrumentation -- Music score
D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts)