About this work:
Qi, a Chinese character, means air, energy, power and spirit. In my work Qi, I used a mixed combination of western instruments, to create the sound from east, to express my feelings of the Qi abstractly -- it's so untouchable, so mysterious, but so strong and powerful. It melts into air and light, it's like the space in Chinese paintings, it's filled into the dancing lines in Chinese calligraphy, it's the spirit in human's mind. In my composition, I translate my general feeling of the Qi, the element of nature, into my musical language in a quite free and slow tempo. There are also exaggerated textures with tension, in which I try to sound the inner voices and spirit of human beings, to experience this eternal power.
Commissioned and premiered by the New Music Consort of New York, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and Los Angeles Philharmonic Association with a grant provided by the Meet The Composer/Reader's Digest consortium commissioning program in 1997, the quartet is entitled Qi, recorded in the album Sparkle: Chamber Music of Chen Yi on Composers Recordings Inc, and released in New York in 1999. I've dedicated the work to Prof. Chou Wen-chung on his 75th birthday in 1998, to express my deep gratitude to his mentorship in my composition concept and artistic thoughts.
Version: Mixed quartet for flute, cello, piano and percussion
Year composed: 1997
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Other Combinations, 2-5 players
Instrumentation notes: Fl, Cello, Percussion, Piano. Published by Theodore Presser Company [114-40901]