Reminiscence – The letter in the bottle

NEW! Revised score, “Reminiscence” (離歌) for double bass and piano (2006; 2012 rev.)


How often do we leave any trace behind the moment in our life?

Six years ago, I wrote a piece for my friend Hsin-Chieh (蔡歆婕).  She is really a warm person.   We used to play double bass together in the orchestra when we were in high school.  Later, she left for France and went to the best music school in the world Le Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) while I stayed in Taiwan for my major in music composition in the college.  When Hsin-Chieh graduated from the master program in CNSMDP, she invited me to write a piece programed in her last recital at CNSMDP.  It was around the time when I just earned my master degree from the Taipei University of the Arts, and was ready to head to the Yale School of Music.  The piece becomes a marker of her return to Taiwan, as well as my embark to the United States for study abroad.

We did it.  In 2006, May, it was my first time to visit France. We arrived at Paris in a quiet morning as if all the Parisians were still asleep.  Not even knowing how to order the food in French, Hsin-Chieh told me to read “sortie” and then I was all set in Paris.  I played the piano with her bass, just as like the moment when we played bass together in the good old day.  Her recital went really “bien“!   The judge told me that the piece is like the Japanese canvas, one small folds after another, he seemed to like it.

“Reminiscence” had been quiet since then.  One day, my email box lay a message.  This was from a graduate student named Rémi Magnan from Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon (CNSMD-Lyon).  He said he found a copy of this score in a classroom cabinet and wanted to study it.  At home, I pulled out the PDF file and listened to the recording of this piece.  The sound of the bass is full of resonance, the extended techniques on both bass and piano are idiomatic in an oriental way.  It appeared to me, a really really special one among my compositions up to day.

Suggested by Cliff Colnot, my mentor, we decided to improve the notation of the score.  Owing this work for so many years of attention, improving the notation and the scoring seems to be the only way to pay the debt to it (as much as so many memories attached to it).  Thanks to Rémi !  I hope one day we will hear this piece again in France.


Click to the sound sample of the sound : Reminiscence 離歌  (Bass / Hsin-Chieh Tsai,  Piano / Yuan-Chen Li)
Click to the PDF sample of the score: Reminiscence_rev.2012_wordpress slide

If you are interested in reviewing the entire score and the recording, please let me know !

cover of the score




  1. Hi there very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionallyˇKI’m satisfied to search out a lot of useful info right here within the publish, we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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