Love Song from the Kalabai River

Love Song from the Kalabai River (2010)
for Solo Percussion and Orchestra

Commissioned by  Sayun Chang

World Premiere:
August 1, 2010
Taiwanese Aborigines Concert
National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan
Sayun Chang, percussion
Wen-Chen Chuang conducts Evengreeen Symphony Orchestra

Instrumentation:
1 Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets (Bb), 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons,
1 Contrabassoon, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets (C), 1 Trombone, 1 Bass Trombone
Timpani, Percussion (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, 3 Cowbells, Slapsticks, Claves, Tambourine, Bamboo Wind Chime), Solo Percussion (Marimba, 5 Wood Blocks, 3 Tom-Toms, Kick Drum), and Strings

Duration: 13 minutes

Program Notes

Love Song from the Kalabai River is commissioned by the percussionist Sayun Chang, who, like I, is studying for the DMA (doctor of musical arts) degree at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, CT.  She requested a piece for solo percussion and orchestra for her to perform with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in the summer of 2010, and this piece had to be inspired by a folk song of Taiwanese indigenous peoples.

Sayun was born with the origins of the aboriginal Atayal, so I set out to seek for some tunes from the Atayal tribe and found an Atayal love song that could inspire the composition of the whole piece.  This love song describes a girl’s coyness when she is invited to the Kalabai riverbank by a boy.  Although it is common to have fun with friends near the riverbank, this girl has to deny because she is too young to promise the boy without asking her parents’ permission; or, she will be blamed for the lack of decorum.

In this piece, I not only quoted the tune of this Atayal love song but also recomposed it as a main composing element.  I tried to combine it with the other composing materials, particularly, quintal chords and parallel motions, yet frequently changed the musical gestures by reassembling different characteristics.  The general musical form of this piece is a fantasy with free development, constant transformation, and nostalgic expression.  I named this single-movement piece, Love Song from the Kalabai River, to emphasize on the link to the original Atayal one yet portray different kinds of emotion and love with the musical mimicry of water.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Council of Aboriginal Affairs of Taipei City Government for supporting me to compose this piece and making a premiere performance possible.

This recording is the world premiere performance.

The YouTube video is the the premiere live performance.

接受了跟我同在美國哈特音樂院攻讀博士學位的打擊家張幼欣的委託,她希望我為她譜寫一首寫給打擊樂獨奏跟管絃樂團的協奏曲,可提供她在2010年夏天與台灣長榮交響樂團協演之用,並且她也希望這首曲子能夠使用台灣原住民素材。於是我譜寫了這個單樂章作品《一首來自小河的情歌》。

為了有著台灣泰雅族血統的幼欣,在譜寫此曲之初,我開始尋找著一些泰雅族民歌的素材,發現了一首泰雅族的情歌具有一些可能性,或許可以成為此曲的靈感來源。這首泰雅族情歌敘述著年輕少女的衿持,一個男孩邀請一位女孩去Kalabai河去遊玩。雖然去河邊嬉戲對於小孩是再普通不過的事情,但這位女孩還是拒絕了,因為她無法不先問過父母就私自答應邀約,否則她會被母親責罵。

在這個作品中,我不只引用了這個泰雅族情歌的曲調,而且使用了這個曲調成為全曲重要的素材加以「再創作」譜成。我試圖在使用這個曲調的當中,加入了其他作曲的素材,尤其是五度疊置和絃與平行移動的和聲,同時藉由重組不同的音樂特性而頻繁地改變音樂的織度。透過幻想曲的曲式,我得以天馬行空地發展素材,持續地轉變姿態,也讓音樂散發出鄉愁的眷戀。之所以取名叫做《一首來自小河的情歌》,我所想要強調此曲跟原本泰雅族情歌的關連性,此外並且描繪著埋藏在音樂河流中的愛情,不同面向的各樣情感。

最後,我想要感謝台北市政府原住民事務委員會贊助我創作此曲,並舉辦首演音樂會讓此曲有機會與愛樂者分享。

– Feng-Hsu Lee (July 10, 2010 Yunlin, Taiwan)

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Love Song from the Kalabai River

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s