About this work:
This work was composed in response to the events of 9/11. It was commissioned and premiered by Elements String Quartet at Merkin Concert Hall on March 23, 2003 in New York, NY. A photo paired up with the music, which was taken by the composer was exhibited during the concert.
It was during the week of 9/11 when I got the commission from the Elements Quartet as a part of their Snapshots project. The only thing I wanted to say in my music is to express my emotion naturally and immediately. New York has been my hometown since I left my motherland China in 1986. I love the people here, the friendship, the culture, the city, and the society... It's so vivid and inspiring. Since I was in New York in the fall of 2001, I have gone through the terrible tragedy and witnessed the whole event very closely. I took the photo from a neighboring community bulletin board (entitled Global outrage, denouncing terrorist acts) in front of the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, where for a week I could smell the strong smoke and see the dark sky, even the pieces of paper with letterheads on the streets flying out from the World Trade Center after the explosions. It's so overwhelming that I cried for five days when I looked at the TV programs and read many newspapers with all details. There are some published articles and live pictures shown on the board, in English and Chinese. I think that the photo really expresses my emotion and thinking naturally and directly. I have just translated it into the piece of music. My piece is entitled "burning", representing my anger towards terrorism, my compassion for the victims and my admiration to the New York firefighters who sacrificed themselves for protecting thousands of their fellow citizens. I feel proud to be a New Yorker, and hope we have a peaceful future in the world. -- Chen Yi
For further information, please contact: Theodore Presser Company <https://www.presser.com/chen-yi?p=2>.
Version: String Quartet
Year composed: 2002
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:String Quartet
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello
Instrumentation notes: A photo paired up with the music was exhibited during the concert