into silence, and keep falling, for cello and piano
expanding and vanishing
towards the west
or towards the east
endlessly and trustlessly
This work was premiered at Siem Reap, Cambodia, during the 2016 Nirmita Composition Workshop while I was presenting as a faculty composer and pianist. I remember beginning writing this work in an unusually cold winter, watching very light snow falls in silence outside the window. That was a moment in my life when I feel the entire world is silent and isolated, all I hear is my own heartbeats and illusion from a vivid dream: a blurry but familiar scene of an ocean. However I don’t know where this nostalgia comes from – either from a region or from the past – as I’ve been traveling, and as I more often found my inner self in the dreams, where all my conscious and subconscious memories and thoughts meet, deeply printed but mostly speechless.
Here is a rough illustrator on my sketch book, the most vivid image of the dream passage out of the thousands in my brain. I use a metaphor of colorful reflections in the dark waves, in both concrete and abstract meanings. Following this passage is the essential mind, which is complicated but too fragile to describe in any form. Therefore I keep it as it is in music.
This single-movement work consists of three recognizable continuous statements that represent an image of slowly falling into darkness, and twilight rising in the distance as a feeble line. I built the structure with sophisticate elaboration and layers upon a simple polyrhythm throughout the work. One of the biggest challenges for this work was the microtonal relation between cello and piano. The other I would say it was the shared musical texture, which builds a liminal connection between all the elements.
Here’s the recording of this premiere in Siem Reap. This was also my first time working with another synaesthetic musician who has a totally different sensory spectrum from mine. However it was a quite enjoyable experience, when I felt more comfortable expressing and explaining my music in cross-sensory metaphor besides technical details. I’m thankful and relaxed afterwards.
The camcorder documentation of the same performance is below – with cellist Peter Jacobson.