ISCM

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Chin, Peter S.: Scène in E minor 

 

 

Basic information

  • Title: 
    Scène in E minor
  • Duration (in minutes): 
    7
  • Year of composition: 
    2018
  • First performance (year): 
    2018
  • First performance (venue): 
    Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
  • First performance (performers): 
    Berkeley Symphony; Ming Luke, conductor
  • Solo Voice(s)/Instrument(s): no
  • Conductor: 
    Obligatory
 

Notes

  • Program notes: 

    Scène is based on an artist book, Father/Mother (1976), by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982). I was able to view it privately at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives (BAMPFA) and was immediately struck with its self-effacing sincerity.

    Strung delicately with red tie, two portraits capture Cha’s young parents before the family’s exile from Korea to America due to the Japanese occupation. These portraits alternate throughout several pages and are treated with a xeroxing technique Cha frequently utilized, transforming and deteriorating the blue and pink inky integrity of the originals. Next to each photograph are handwritten inscriptions in Korean calligraphy, such as “Mother’s Love….Father’s Love” and “Mother’s Fate….Father’s Fate.”

    I wanted to capture the simplicity of the photobook and the nostalgia that washed over me while flipping through my own family’s photobooks. I noticed physical and characteristic likenesses in both Cha’s parents and my own within the details of the portraits and her deference and filial piety shown through the careful craftsmanship. Cha grew up in the Bay Area, and during her formative years, she received 4 degrees from UC Berkeley. A curious thinker, she was fluent in French, Korean, and English, and her works explore the desire and the mechanics of speaking, feminism, French Film Theory, and Korean shamanism—all leading to her being an early pioneer in shaping a unique and fledging Korean-American artistic voice, sadly cut short when she was brutally murdered in a random attack in New York City in 1982.

    The Waltz and Sarabande, both triple-meter dance forms, are central ideas to the music. The Sarabande, which stresses the second beat, has Spanish origins and was once viewed as devil’s music prior to it being brought to the pinnacle of high art by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Waltz, similarly, migrated and sprouted numerous variations of the Viennese tradition. Particularly, slow triple-meter dance forms accompanied by slow motion film are often used by Asian auteurs and film composers to awash the audience in a meditative trance. Scène oscillates solemnly between several time signatures in a wandering and lilting quality, in my hopes of capturing not only the simplicity, nostalgia, and incredible sadness inherent in Cha’s body of work, but also to honor her transformation of timeless forms, languages, origins, and national identities.

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Instruments

Total number of musicians: 
56
Musicians1st player2nd player
Flute
1
C
Oboe
1
Oboe
Clarinet
1
B-flat
Bassoon
1
Bassoon
Horn (F)
1
MusiciansInstruments
Harp
1
 
Musicians1st player2nd player
Violin
26
Viola
10
Cello
8
Double Bass
6
4-string
4-string

 

 

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