Representative Chamber Works
Pendulum Waves (2022)
for mallet quartet
Pendulum Waves was composed in the context of the 2022 SandBox Percussion Composition Project, which was jointly organized by the UMKC Composition Department and the UMKC Percussion Studio. Three composers were selected to create new works for SandBox Percussion quartet and two for the student percussion quartets. I was selected to work directly with SandBox Percussion to create a new work for percussion quartet. SandBox and I achieved a meaningful collaboration, and I finished this piece under their coaching. Thus, I dedicate this piece to SandBox for their help and guidance.
Premiered by SandBox Percussion, Apr. 2022, Kansas City, USA
Premiered by Dai Wei, Sep. 2020, Kansas City, USA
Singing in the Frosted Wind (2019-2020)
for violin solo
I can still remember the earth being covered with ice and snow during the winters in Northern China's Shaanxi Province. Blowing on my face like thousand tiny knives, the roaring wind prevented me from hearing everything but the lingering songs from the frozen lakeshore's other side—that is, from the farmers. That was the image in my mind as I was composing the Singing in the Frosted Wind.
Taking the inspiration from those old and rough folk songs from Shaanxi province, I used various melodic materials to compose this solo piece for violin. This work captures my understanding of how contemporary Western compositional techniques have altered Chinese folk music.
Three Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (2018)
Inspired by György Ligeti's Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, I composed three untitled movements for the wind quintet that explore the potential of combining timbres, lyrical melodies, and dynamics of this ensemble.
The three movements are independent of each other and have their unique themes. For example, the first movement emphasizes the linear texture of the wind quintet, and the third movement features the development of a small motif.
Recorded by the Wind Quintet from Guangzhou Orchestra Symphony, Aug. 2018, Guangzhou, China
Premiered by Yan Yi-Qi, Zhao Jian-Fei, and Liu Zhen,
Apr. 2018, Guangzhou, China
Fantasia on the Hakka Enclosing House (2017)
for viola, cello, and piano
I finished this piece while in Guangzhou, China. During a visit to the residence of the members of the local ethnic group, I was fascinated by the Hakka's mysterious legends and their unique construction as part of an ancient ritual genre. Thus inspired, I wrote a piece for Hakka music that features the viola, whose timbre is appropriate for presenting the dark and mysterious theme of struggle that I infused into the work.
This recording was produced by excellent viola and cello performers from the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and an outstanding graduate pianist from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music.
Premiered by Zhao Jian-Fei, Zhao Qi-Fa, and Wang Qian,
Oct. 2016, Guangzhou, China
Portrait of a Henan Tone (2016)
for cello, clarinet, and piano
Henan is my homeland where I have spent more than 18 years of my life. This trio piece based on an old tone of my homeland, contains a central theme from a piece of Henan Zheng solo, "The Nostalgia of Su Wu".
"The Nostalgia of Su Wu" describes the history of Su Wu, an ambassador of the Han Dynast, who was assigned to bring the emperor's order to the land of the Huns. When Su Wu arrived, the Huns detained him for 19 years and tortured him into betraying his country. However, Su Wu was unyielding and eventually rescued and sent back to his homeland after being away from his country for 19 years.
Su Wu's nostalgia for his homeland resonates with me, for I was also away from my hometown for many years. Along with piano and clarinet, the cello, which often imitate the sound of Zheng, supplied me with the main idea of this work.
Premiered by Wang Jie-Yu, Mar. 2015, Guangzhou, China
Slight Touch (2015)
for flute Solo
Slight Touch is not only the first piece that I composed after beginning my undergraduate education at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, but also my first piece performed on stage.
The Chinese-language name of the work derives from a poem by Bai Ju-Yi, a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty. The specific stanza inspiring the piece's name draws a picture of a superb pipa performer who was presenting a cadenza. From the stanza, I selected a term that describes the slight, rapid, and nimble technique of the pipa performance to represent the main idea of this work.