The travelling Chinese orchestra : for solo piano
by Diana Blom (2009, this version: 2010)
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Performance by Lincoln Pang from the CD Works by Erik Griswold, Diana Blom, Mark Isaacs, Anthony Moles, Ros Bandt [and] Judy Bailey
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This short descriptive piece came from a visit to a Chinese
restaurant in Canberra, the
menu of which was printed on pages from an Asian arts magazine. My menu pictured
eight Chinese earthenware musicians on horseback from the Tang dynasty 618-907. All
of the mounted musicians, maybe from Shaanxi or neighbouring areas, have moustaches
and are strikingly dressed in beige hoods, red robes, with red trousers tucked into black
boots. There are two drummers with their drumsticks, one musician playing the fife (dizi),
one playing the flute (xiao), another the transverse flute (yuè), one on pan-pipes (paixiao),
one on harp (konghou) and one on mouth organ (sheng).
When a travelling Chinese orchestra is passing through, the drums then the cymbals are
heard in the distance, sounding out of the silence. Next, the high woodwind ring out. As
the orchestra moves closer the melody is heard, the pitch rising gradually until the players
are present, playing at full volume. The melody, using an old Chinese scale, is
accompanied by the percussion. As the orchestra rides past, the pitch of the melody drops
a little and as the distance increases, eventually only the high woodwind and finally drums
can be heard.
Year: 2009, this version: 2010
Duration: 3 min.
- Influenced by: Chinese culture
Performances of this work
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