Recluse,Verve of Chinese Calligraphy 孤·书韵

Concert ''2014 San Francisco – Shanghai International Chamber Music Festival''

Uraufführung „Recluse,Verve of Chinese Calligraphy''

March 13-14, 2014 Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall San Francisco Conservatory of Music 50 Oak Street

Violin Spieler: Herr Douglas Ku Won Kwon

Viola Spielerin: Zhang Yi-wen

Cello Spielerin: Natalie Raney

I finished my composition in November 2013. The inspiration source from Chinese calligraphy, which I have learned since I was a kid. Even just from copying out the articles and poems in Chinese calligraphy, I learned a lot of things. For example, the culture of Chinese calligraphy starts being popular since Tang density, which is more than 1000 years till now. It is particularly about the quintessence, momentum, and spirit. So the moment I start to draw, I should already have a well-thought-out plan, which means I know exactly what I want to draw, and accomplish it in one breath, with the aim that combine the content and picture as a completed one. The charm of Chinese calligraphy is the verve it reflects, which also shows artistic conception of the whole work. The artistic conception requires the author to get through observation and thinking, some phenomena of nature and experiences in work and daily life to get, especially the skills of writing calligraphy. So that all the thought, emotions and artistic accomplishments can be perfectly showed out, and runs through the whole work.

The factors of calligraphy are: the unity of emotions and sense, the shape and appearance, and the content and writing skills. The charm of the calligraphy that we are enjoying should not be just the context, but also the artistic concept and emotions which the context really shows. Because the concepts are not just the external appearance, it also pays a lot of attention to emotions in our inner world.



Lonely mountain, lonely cloud,lonely wind. The recluse plaints the dream of reclusion lonely. Spirit, upright and soul of calligraphy. The Verve from the chirographer was already written into the art of calligraphy.

As the descriptions of artistic concepts above, I would like though aural rendering, to show the spirit of Chinese calligraphy with my strings trio.

The melody begins at the Middle register and gradually calm down. The beginning pitches E/B/A construct a symmetrical form consisted of one perfect fourth interval. The melody layer appears and then disappears with the change of music parameter. The three instrument exchange their roll——sometimes as background and sometimes as foreground. Despite this, the interval second is the important motive in my work, the interval started at the beginning of the work and develop through every part of the work. In every moment of the piece, the listener can enjoy the comparison of real and illusory, brightness and darkness, concentrated and diluted. During the whole work, I use the “five-tone-scale” from China that combined with the traditional and modern style. The music interweave with specific harmonics and polyphony in order to show the breath and taste of the work.

“Lu’s trio was entitled “Recluse” with the subtitle “Verve of Chinese Calligraphy.” My guess is that there are philological connections between title and subtitle that are more evident in their original Chinese wording. It may even be that it is through those connections that the music rises above the level of mere abstraction. The performers were SFCM students Douglas Ku Won Kwon on violin, Yiwen Zhang on viola, and Natalie Raney on cello. They adeptly negotiated a dense fabric of close counterpoint in which sonority carried as much significance as thematic lines, but this was not music that lent itself to quick accessibility through a single listening experience. One can only hope that it will remain in repertoire after the composer has returned to her studies in Shanghai.‘’

“Lu's Recluse is a short work, channeling "lonely mountain, lonely cloud, lonely wind." It reminded me of the feeling — not the actual music — from the combination of Stravinsky's Concerto in D for String Orchestra and Jerome Robbins' ballet, The Cage, set on the concerto. A strictly personal response, I doubt it can be explained objectively.”