About this work:
Chen Yi's Distance can’t keep us two apart (2011), (Text by Wang Bo, Tang Dynasty), for unaccompanied mixed choir (5 minutes); Commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association Endowment in memory of Raymond W. Brock, my work Distance can’t keep us two apart is written for unaccompanied mixed choir. When I received the invitation from Dr. Tim Sharp, the Executive Director of ACDA to write the piece, I was deeply touched by what the ACDA has done in the past half century, to deliver universal love, to unite people from different backgrounds, and to develop our cultural tradition in the society through choral singing. I selected two lines from a poem by a Chinese poet Wang Bo in Tang Dynasty as the text of my piece: If I have a friend who knows my heart, Distance can’t keep us two apart. These lines have been popularly used among Chinese people, to share their friendship, love, trust and encouragement. I was deeply inspired and encouraged by the ACDA’s vision towards the 21st century, in improving our education and communication for the new world through our music making and creation. I hope that my music could serve as a bridge, to improve understanding between people from all cultures. The work is premiered by Clerestory Vocal Ensemble (San Francisco), at the ACDA North Central Division Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, February 8-11, 2012; by Montclair State University Singers, conducted by Heather Buchanan, on 2/17/2012 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, at the ACDA Eastern Division Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, February 15-18, 2012; by Pacific Lutheran University Choir of the West, conducted by Richard Nance, at the ACDA Northwestern Division Conference in Seattle, Washington, March 15-18, 2012; by Festival Singers of Florida, conducted by Kevin Fenton, at the ACDA Southern Division Conference, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, February 29-March 3, 2012; by Arlington Master Chorale, conducted by Randy Jordan, at the ACDA Southwestern Division Conference in Dallas, Texas, February 29-March 3, 2012; by Arizona State University Symphonic Chorale, conducted by Gregory Gentry, at 1:30pm, 3/1/2012 in the Pioneer Center, at the ACDA Western Division Conference “Singing the Legacy” in Reno, Nevada, February 29-March 3, 2012; by Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Concert Choir, conducted by Susan Davenport, on 3/10/2012 at the ACDA Central Division Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, March 7-10, 2012.