Chen Yi

About this work:

CHEN Yi: SHUO CHANG for solo guitar (2013) [6.5 minutes]. My guitar solo piece Shuo Chang is written for the guitar master Ms. Xuefei Yang, commissioned by and premiered at the Wigmore Hall in London on 11/3/2013, with subsequent performances around the world. The inspiration of composing this piece came from the art form of musical story telling in China, Shuo Chang. The musical style is influenced by Jing Yun Da Gu from northern China, in which the folk musician(s) would sing, recite, and speak while telling stories, and play a drum in the interludes, while a small group of Chinese traditional instrumentalists playing the accompaniment, led by the plucking instrument Sanxian (a 3-string lute with a long neck and fingerboard). The opening of the piece is like the background accompaniment played by the Chinese traditional plucking instrument Sanxian, which sounds deep and leisure. The music in Letter A, F and H sounds like singing, humming and reciting in one. Letter B, C, G are interludes, sound like beating drums, while other musicians playing in a small ensemble. The middle section, Letter D and E has rhythmic chord striking kind of music, which is an imitation of Chinese folk dance, without stylistic musical language being specified. There is significant timbre contrast between the chords and the interrupted 4-note figures. The interaction makes the energetic section vivid, rich and colorful. The ending part, Letter I is the coda, which reaches the culmination of the whole piece. The western plucking instrument guitar plays all roles in an imagined performance of Chinese Shuo Chang respectively, as the singer, the drummer, the ensemble musicians, and the dancers, all in one. 

Version: Solo Guitar
Year composed: 2013
Duration: 00:06:30
Ensemble type: Solo instrument, non-keyboard

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