Dancing to My Shadow (2021)

for percussion, player piano, and realtime image

In ancient Chinese poetic literature, the combination of “moon,” “shadow” or “drunkenness” is usually the metaphor for inner hysterics when one is experiencing extreme loneliness and longing for the unreachable person or place. Some examples found in poetries include: “I raise my cup to invite the moon who blends, her light with my shadow and we are three friends...my shadow's a mess while I dance along...1” by Li Bo, or “...where shall I be found at day's early break from wine awake? Moored by a riverbank planted with willow trees, beneath the waning moon and in the morning breeze...2” by Liu Yong, and “...don’t lean alone on rails when the bright moon appears! Wine in sad bowels would turn to nostalgic tears...3” by Fang Zhongyan and so on. My composition Dancing to My Shadow is also inspired by such poetry: “how rare the moon, so round and clear...dancing to my shadow, I feel no longer the mortal tie4.” The piece, however, is not a description or reinterpretation of the poem, rather it holds personal meaning and resonance; Su Shi’s text deeply affected me when a series of changes happened in my life. Thus I borrow it to sublimate my emotional expression in my music.Within this music, “shadow” and “drunken dance” are the two keywords. Worthy of mentioning, multidimensional conveyance and perception by spreading out and expositing the core concept(s) in various time units and sonic perspectives are something I have explored time and time again in recent years. After having read Bell Yung’s article, Choreographic and Kinesthetic Elements in Performance on the Chinese Seven-String Zither, I have expanded my exploration by including kines- thetic and visual components within the performance practice apart of this work’s conception.Dancing to My Shadow is dedicated to percussionist Yongyun Zhang and premiered by her on January 14th, 2022 at UC San Diego.

Past Performance:

  • Yongyun Zhang and YAMAHA Disklavier | Conrad Prebys Concert Hall at the University of California, San Diego | 1/14/2022

弄影 - 音乐会版(2021)


在中国的古诗词文学里,“月亮”、“影子”、“醉酒”的组合往往暗喻着在孤独与思念到极致之时的内在癫狂。如李白《月下独酌》中 的“举杯邀明月,对影成三人”和“我歌月徘徊,我舞影零乱”、柳永的“今宵酒醒何处?杨柳岸,晓风残月”、范仲淹的“明月楼高休独倚 。酒入愁肠,化作相思泪”等等。而这部作品的灵感也来源于这样的诗句 —— 苏轼《水调歌头》中的“明月几时有...起舞弄清影,何似在 人间” 。然而,此作并非为我对《水调歌头》的解读或者再演绎,而是当我处在人生变故时,苏轼的语言让我触景生情;我借用他的词 于我的音乐里抒发情感。值得一提的是,这是我在探索多维度表达跟听觉的方法中诸多作品里其中一首。在这首作品里,“影子”和“醉酒的舞蹈“为两个主要 关键词。我一直以来的做法是在多个时间单位和音响角度中铺开和呈示基础想法。而在这部作品中,由于荣鸿曾教授的文章里提到过的 “古琴音乐里的舞蹈与肌肉动觉元素”对我产生了深厚影响,所以演奏动作和视觉维度便参与了我对作品的构思。《弄影》于2022年1月14号在加州大学圣地亚哥分校首演,打击乐由张永韵担任,这部作品题献给她。


  • 张永韵和雅马哈Disklavier自动钢琴 | 加州大学圣地亚哥分校 Conrad Prebys Concert Hall | 1/14/2022