Winter Notes

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!




1 Comment

  1. Doc Films, Winter 2013
1928, The Last Great Year of Silent Film – Featuring Live Piano Accompaniment by Yuan-Chen Li

    1/20/2013 — ” The Wind” — by Victor Strosjom
    1/27/2013 — “Docks of New York” — byJosef Von Sternberg
    2/03/2013 — “The Circus” — by Charlie Chaplin
    2/10/2013 — “The Patsy” — by King Vidor
    2/17/2013 — “Fall of the House of Usher” — Jean Epstein
    2/24/2013 — “The Man Who Laughs” — Paul Leni
    3/03/2013 — “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” — Buster Keaton
    3/10/2013 — “The Crowd” — King Vidor
    Each screening will be Sunday at seven o’clock

    Tickets go on sale half an hour before the screening. Quarterly membership pass holders gain free entry to all general admission films and can be purchased at the theater.
    General Admission:$5
    Quarterly Membership:$30 ($28 if you present proof of membership from the previous quarter)
    Please note: doc film currently does not accept credit card payment at the theater. However, we hope to make this available soon.

    Doc Films is located in the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall at The University of Chicago (1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637). Persons with a disability who may need assistance can contact us by phone (773-702-8574) or email.

    For the complete calendar, please visit

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