Yuen I圓I, 2014
for Yangqin and Live Electronics
performed by Ka-yi Yuen and Larry Shuen
Pipa composed by Akira Nishimura, a Japanese composer, has given me loads of inspiration to compose this piece. Pipa is scored for three guitars and the finger tremolo technique is adopted to create a repeating rhythm, which is played continuously for 10 minutes throughout the piece. Nishimura abandons the possibility that changes in rhythm can bring to develop a piece, which makes me to reconsider how to compose within certain constraints.
Like Nishimura, Yuen is composed of not only a repeating rhythm, also with restricted intervals (major 2nd), and the rich timbres of Yangqin are not shown deliberately. Regarding to the live electronics, all materials used are produced from the Yangqin and there is no external sound source, as I wish to experiment what can be achieved under limited circumstances. Music begins with a single line formed by repeated notes, which curves slowly when there are changes in pitches and phrasing and eventually forms a circle (Yuen in Cantonese).