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

Mao, Zhu: The Island 



Basic information

  • Title: 
    The Island
  • Composer: 
  • Duration (in minutes): 
  • Year of composition: 
  • First performance (year): 


  • Program notes: 

    The Island for String Quartet
    The string quartet is commissioned by The Juilliard School for the 2018 Focus! Festival. The world premiere is given at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in New York on January 24, 2018, performed by excellent student performers at The Juilliard School.
    This string quartet, titled “The Island”, was inspired by the 17th-century English poet John Donne’s poem “No Man is an Island”. John Donne grasps the relationship between the whole of human beings and the individual in the poem. As humans we are all connected to each other, no matter how hard we try to be separate. The individual life in one way or another, link to all living beings on the planet. John Donne’s philosophy made me think of the heterophony, a music texture form that widely exists in Chinese folk music. Heterophony is a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. Such a texture can be regarded as a kind of complex monophony in which there is only one basic melody, but realized at the same time in multiple voices, each of which plays the melody differently, either in a different rhythm or tempo, or with various embellishments and elaborations. Each of voices expresses individual character, and establishes an interactive relationship between the individual and the whole.
    Furthermore, “The Island” gave me a way of fancy and fabrication in my music, to describe a kind of life on an isolated island, such as the childhood game scene in the second movement, and the lullaby in the fourth movement.





Content posted to the ISCM website reflects the viewpoint of individual submitters; its appearance herein does not imply official endorsement by the ISCM, its Executive Committee, or the Delegates to its General Assembly.