Wandering Viewpoint

Posted: 2014/09/27 in 故事 / Story


I had a conversation on the title of my new composition “Wandering Viewpoint” in comparison to the word “Wonder” with Linda, a MLA alumni from Graham School that we met after the talk by Professor David Wray at Graham School’s MLA information session.  Her specialty as a translator (spanish & english) and her well-articulate manner made our conversation an enlightened one, starting when we looked into the etymology (see how Linda tracked down the meanings of the words on the sheet in the photo).  It begins to make sense.  I love how “miracle” implied in “wonder,” I also acknowledge how confusing it is to obtain an aimless “viewpoint” (mental position).*  For long, I appreciate the aesthetic “wandering” more than “goal,” or “ideology.” Although, most of the career path or whatever consultants (even Musical form!) would favor one has a “goal,” I ponder, my goal is to wander around? Does it sound alright?

The more I try to investigate my attempt deeper, I argue, it is important to know that the journey itself is more important than the destination.  To lose, or to gain/win, is sometimes so arbitrarily conditioned by whatever circumstances and rules.  Especially in the world of art, objective and subjective perspectives are not impossibly better or worse – a “bad” object might be meaningful for lending itself to exercise critical thinking.  To appreciate an object, is to participate, to give it attention, to explore, and to make dialog with your voice (have fun if you alter your position).  Would it be what “Wandering” might be meant to us during the course of a musical journey? To show my gratitude to the translator, Linda (whom I only know for few hours and promised to meet agin), and wish her the best for discovering beautiful things and miracles after we said goodbye, I wish to think about her a little more, and share a short article on “Wandering” in its German form Wanderlust, and more on the term “Wandering Viewpoint” that I borrow from Wolfgang Iser.

*The term “Wonder” was derived from David Wray’s lecture on Happiness.

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第25屆金曲獎【最佳藝術音樂專輯獎】是也! “25th Golden Melody Awards [Best Artistic Music Album awards] ! 自2009年夏天收到委託邀請, 定合約, 兩廳院與NSO行政和2012年表演, 2011年嘔心瀝血的作品 “間奏曲-商” 曾在 2012年台新文化藝術獎入圍, 今年2014又再度獲得青睞, 整張專輯 “樂典 09″ 入圍金曲獎傳統金曲之「最佳藝術音樂專輯獎」和朱宗慶老師「最佳專輯製作人獎」, 是三位女性作曲家王怡雯、李元貞、洪千惠等的管弦樂作品,同時是由同年度最佳錄音獎錄音師尤子澤老師操刀的作品 。感謝大家教我這麼多, 非常以這張專輯感到光榮, 是大家集氣的成果, 就是要給觀眾最好的, 非常感謝送件提名和評審的肯定。這部專輯的製作,除了感謝無數小編美編在背後操刀以外,再次感謝當初越洋來電的陳毓秀主委,經過邱媛執行長和呂紹嘉指揮的支持,邀請尼可拉斯彌爾頓指揮 (Nicholas Milton) 遠從德國來台進行非常仔細的排練和首演。事實證明,音樂家和作曲家都得在精神和時間充裕的狀態下方能給予社會最佳的作品,而管弦樂,歌劇,多媒體等製作,更是集無數人的努力和貢獻,以及遠見,方能促成一張比桌曆還薄的專輯。網路書店找的到喲!


Available at Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Taiwan-09-Yuan-Chen-Chien-Hui/dp/B00KOX1TCG/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1412561208&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=voice+of+taiwan+9

what’s up ?

Over the summer of 2013, I have had a calming period of time for writing.  Approaching to the fifth year at my Ph.D. program at University of Chicago, the academia experience has gradually showing how rewarded it has meant to me in my life as a composer.  Writing about the subject gives me a different kind of joy and helps me think.  Through various project, I notice that my interest has consistently focuses at ‘vocal composition,’ although as a composer I rarely compose for voice but mostly for instrument.  With the “voice” in mind, I approach to sound “phonetically,” especially bringing my impression and influence from the vocal technique in Chinese/Taiwan Nanquan music (南管).  This was a central idea in my master thesis “Intermezzo-Tsan” (間奏曲:參, 2006) and I had a great time rethinking about this work when I wrote a sister work ‘Intermezzo-SHANG’ (間奏曲:商) for orchestra finished two years ago.  At U of Chicago, I haven’t written for voice, but interestingly my papers are all about vocal composition! 

In recent weeks, I will update my blog.  The concert dates – if you were ever wonder (me too) – are  to be uploaded.  Upon some friendly expectations, I will also make the recording of my music available for download and purchase.  Also, you are very welcome to contact me if you consider to program new work, solo, chamber, or orchestra.   Check out the list of work ! Click here List of Works

Till next post, keep going, my friends.

Keep Walking

Time flies.  I can’t believe that in May we have already premiered two works, one cello and piano duet “Obsidian”, and one chamber “Aldebaran” for eighth blackbird.  Last Friday, I also helped CONTEMPO, the new music collective program, to stage manage for the last concert of the season: chamber works by Francisco Castillo Trigueros  and Andrew Jasinski, and a mini opera “strip-tease” by Dylan Schneider.  Being a composer as well as a stage manager have helped me learn a great deal of programming and the production.  My best moment is to know that composers’ imagination is not only realized by the musicians, but also being put into the context which makes sense to the audience.

NOW – you are sincerely invited to my show!

I would like to let you know that the last premiere of my work in this season will be coming soon this Thursday.  “Fauna Republic” is composed for DePaul wind ensemble, consisted of a wood wind quintet and a percussion quartet (total 9 musicians), and conducted by Cliff Colnot.  If month ago you were in PIANO FORTE, you may actually heard the original model of this work – now being turned over into a fully orchestrated ensemble and full of new characters.  This is the piece I finished pretty much around the same time as I complete “Aldebaran” for eighth blackbird.  The texture and form are however very different though – more likely, i would say, it is quite an elaboration of what I have been doing in Cliff’s orchestration class at U of Chicago years ago where a pitch is enriched, gestured, and texturalized – how? Come to our show !

webpage to the event http://music.depaul.edu/NewsAndEvents/Events/12-13/May_13/23_WindEnsemble.html

DePaul Wind Ensemble

Thursday, May 23, 2013
8:00pm, DePaul Concert Hall, 800 W. Belden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614

Cliff Colnot, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Octet in F Major KV App. C 17.05 and B to 370a
Ludwig van Beethoven: Marches and Dances
I.March in F major, WoO 18 (“Yorck’scher Marsch”)
II.March in F major WoO 19
III.March in C major WoO 20 (“Zapfenstreich”)
IV.Ecossaise WoO 22
V.Polonaise WoO 21
Yuan-Chen Li: Fauna Republic [World Premier]

free admission

Winter Notes

Posted: 2013/01/08 in 情報 / What's Happening

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

I hope 2012 was a good one for you. I am so happy to write this note because many new forms of art are inspiring me in the current stage of my career.  Aside from three new compositions which will be completed in the Spring, I have begun to play piano more frequently (and sometimes double bass!) for classes as well as for creative projects with new collaborators.  Performing is an immediate way of sharing musical ideas within a community, which for me, who sits at a table writing all day long, provides a very different mode of expressing myself as a composer.

In the first half of the new year my work will be filled with much dynamic interplay.  Other than in the strict sense of composing on the five-line sheet, I will also have the honor to meet artists and programmers from various fields:  Mike Schuh, artist of “all manner of materials” (in our work, he adapts video and installation); Claudia Lavista, chief choreographer of the Delfos Dance Company; Doc Film of UChicago, programming a series of silent films “1928, Or, The Last Great Year of Silent Film”.

The collaborations will be concerned with creative interactions between music and other art forms: choreography, video, silent film, installation, and site-specific projects. Instead of composing, improvisation on the piano is a way for me to keep myself spontaneous and flexible through interactions with other media.  This new collaborative mode of art making allows me to join the work at various stages of the creative process: 1) prior to the decision making, such as for Mike Schuh’s video “The Dead of Winter”, 2) within the process of making art, such as in the site-specific project with Claudia Lavista, and 3) after the finished work of art, such as accompaniment for the silent film.  I am still observing, learning, and sometimes amazed by the freedom for expression this offers.  Yet this certainly doesn’t come about randomly or by mere coincidence, for any moment of projecting, highlighting, and underlining with one or another in a real-time interaction is always based years of training, exercise, and experience in the creation of works of art.

Whenever possible, you are extremely welcome to attend my concerts and my performance/exhibitions.  I sincerely look forward to hearing from you.  Your feedback will be immensely appreciated!



TODAY! See you in the hall :)

就在今日!指揮 Nicholas Milton 連日細心的指導,我對這 18 分鐘長的作品 “間奏曲:商” 首演感到非常期待, 請來替 NSO 加油!音樂會尚有鋼琴大師 Garry Graffman 演出拉威爾的左手鋼琴協奏曲, 和俄系蕭斯塔科維契與普羅高非夫的作品, 還用 19 世紀的耳朵聽美美行雲流水的古典音樂嗎? Come to hear our contemporary!
*七點在音樂廳有車炎江講師來導聆, 一起來唷!


幕後花絮 ~ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152267806685084.930205.671990083&type=1&l=c419b54550

November 24 2012. 澳藉指揮 Nicholas Milton 翩翩來台執棒, 與鋼琴家 Garry Graffman 演出拉威爾鋼琴,蕭士塔科維契第六,普羅高菲夫古典交響曲,以及首演中正文化中心的委託創作 “間奏曲:商”.

Australian conductor Nicholas Milton came to Taiwan for the concert on November 24th 2012 with National Symphonic Orchestra and the pianist Garrt Graffman playing Ravel Piano Concerto Piano for the left hand, D major, and Prokofiev Classical Symphony, op.25, and the world premiere of my work “Intermezzo: SHANG”, commissioned by National Cultural Center.