HKNME 10th Season Opening Concert
To open its landmark 10th season, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble presents five striking works from Asia and the USA that reimagine traditional musical materials and forms, exploring new sonic frontiers.
At the concert’s centrepiece is South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s large ensemble work Gougalon (Scenes from a Street Theater). This 25-minute work for 15 players is about an “imaginary folk music”:
In 2008 and 2009 I visited Hong Kong and Guangzhou, among other places. The atmosphere of the old and poor residential neighbourhoods with their narrow, winding alleys, ambulatory food vendors, and market places...brought to mind long forgotten childhood experiences. It reminded me very much of Seoul of the 1960s, of the period after the Korean War and before the radical modernization….I was particularly reminded of a troupe of entertainers I saw a number of times as a child in a suburb of Seoul.
Two works in this programme combine Chinese, Japanese and Western instruments. In Toshio Hosokawa’s Landscape V, the Japanese composer experiments with finely thin calligraphic textures verging on the edge of silence for Japanese shō and string quartet. As a tasteful pairing, local composer Charles Kwong's quintet Sonata/ dissipated in silence evocatively explores the transitions between sound and music, and ambience and silence.
Two commissions are also presented in this concert. American composer Eric Wubbels' sextet life-still, co-commissioned by the HKNME and MATA Festival (NYC), is a “distantly starlit lullaby" (New York Music Daily) in which each player’s heartbeat at times determines for the flow of the music. Chinese composer Yao Chen’s new work The Supplicant for solo oboe solo and 10 players will receive its world premiere in this concert. Yao’s perceptions on musical expression are at the frontier between the old and the new, the East and the West, and between irrational mysticism and rational logic.
Charles Kwong: Sonata/ dissipated in silence (2016/2017)
Eric Wubbels: life-still (2017) Asian Première
Co-commissioned with Music at the Anthology (USA)
Yao Chen: The Supplicant (2017) World Première
Toshio Hosokawa: Landscape V (1992)
Unsuk Chin: Gougalon (Scenes from a Street Theater) (2009/2011)