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Silky Mist Softly Lingers... Red : for solo guzheng

by Bruce Crossman (2018)

Silky Mist Softly Lingers... Red


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Silky Mist Softly Lingers... Red : for solo guzheng / Bruce Crossman.

Library shelf no. 787.75/CRO 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The music explores a drifting time sense where flanking sections of the work float free of time and explore tremoring string colours flicked with string harmonic moments as lingering gentle sounds peppered by sharpness as in Tang Xianzu's metaphorical poetry exploring sensuality through nature in the Kunqu classic, the "Peony Pavilion". The poetry's misty and vibrantly coloured visual images, with tactile softness and sudden cuckoo bird bursts of sound suggest sensual awakening and pulsing of lovers and nature as a departure point for the music. In my music, the flanking sections of softly suggestive harmonic lingering and tonal wriggling of sound awaken in the middle section into full-throated guzheng chords in arpeggios and plucked resonances tinged with dissonance. Against these rich sonorities, urgent tremolo figures push forward whilst held back by momentary harmonic micro-gardens of sound to final climax centrally in cascading arpeggios, sharp articulated dyad sounds with barré pressed sliding chords. The form of the music is one of ABA balance but with inward surges that almost destroy the form in their organicism; perhaps the emotive tensions of the work are a little like the colliding worlds of Confucianist order and Daoist flow that permeate the poetry of sensuality.

Work Details

Year: 2018

Instrumentation: Guzheng.

Duration: 9 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Complex rhythmic detail and changing colour nuances

Dedication note: In honour of the wedding anniversary of Chiu Tan Ching's parents (Hong Kong New Music Ensemble).

Commission note: Commissioned by Chiu Tan Ching.

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Free jazz, Matthew Shipp Trio, traditional Chinese guzheng music, Kunqu (Chinese opera).


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