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Bodhisattva of the Silk Road : for erhu and ruan

by Tony Wheeler (1986, this version: 2013)

Work Overview

This piece, composed in 1986 and revised in 2013, is a musical portrayal of various aspects of life, both ancient and present, in the far western province of Gansu. This is a region characterized by vast expanses of
dry, sandy desert, and being one of the localities through which passed the ancient 'Silk Road' trade route, was one of the first places in China to be affected by the eastward spread of Buddhism from India, during the Tang Dynasty. The somewhat reserved timbral quality of the ruan, coupled with its versatility, make it an ideal complement here to the more soloistic, voice-like expressiveness of the erhu. At the outset this expressiveness is fully exploited in first section as the erhu intones a beautifully lyrical melody to the subtle counterpoint of the ruan. The middle section is faster and highly rhythmic, with a return to plaintive lyricism at the end

Work Details

Year: 1986, this version: 2013

Instrumentation: Erhu, ruan.


Performances of this work

21 Sep 2019: at Spring Sounds of East And West (Christ Church, Lavender Bay).

16 Feb 2013: at Spring of the Golden Snake (Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

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