In Fading Colors of Autumn Hills, for three female voices
Time passes through the years…
That once was ours, in the silvergrass season:
The silvergrass covered all over the hills and along the trails,
Extended towards the wavering sunlight.
Yet the sunlight never shifts, as it’s frozen over the mountain colors
Covered with the silvergrass.
Throughout the piece, the three vocal lines form a timbral unit as the musical texture. To make this continuously changing-color unit, I combine regular singing voice, pitched air sound, unvoiced whisper (air) sound, whistle, as well as various “timbral harmonics” produced by different vowels. These elements together create a synthesized tone color that consists of individual, overlapping phrases in considerate tuning of well-tempered microtones, just intervals, timbral harmonics, combination tones, and beating tones.
During recent years, I’ve been investigating in combining vocal phonemes into timbral and musical texture, in addition to exploring sounds, compositional angles, and musically interpreting the poetry. In Fading Colors of Autumn Hills uses IPA, Chinese and English languages. The bilingual texts are comprehensible but more importantly, their phonemes function as colors rather than intoning the poem. The whole musical aura represents an image of autumn mountains, as an echo of my memories and many of my previous works about longing and loss.
This work is commissioned by and dedicated to the Accordant Commons.