I really should have studied some jazz harmonization and voice leading. Oh well, there’s always time for experimentation, right? A slightly different topic–but bearing just as much to this title–Hong Kong lately has been lacking on “harmony”, mainly by the issue on building the China Railway High-spped (CRH). As part of China’s new policy to step up to the rest of the developed world, there’s a fierce plan to build a high-speed rail system all over the country. While much of the construction has already Continue reading →

Writing opera in Hong Kong

I’ve been enjoying a few weeks’ stay at home in Hong Kong, away from the freezing weather of Wisconsin. While hanging out with my family is the utmost priority, I’m also hard[ly?] at work on my dissertation piece, which is a comic opera for four singers. With luck, I’ll be able to meet the March-15 deadline for the Graduate School, and perhaps the opera will receive a premiere reading some time in May. Titled “Wired for Love”, here’s the synopsis. Enjoy! Looking for his next Continue reading →

Grisey “Prologue” (1976)

I was totally blown away by Grisey’s “Prologue” for solo viola. The entire fifteen minutes of the piece was gripping. Each moment seems to blossom from the previous one. I love how the viola began singing, ending the phrase with odd sounds or timbre. Gradually the odd timbre grows to subsume the melody. But this piece isn’t your usual battle of two extremes; in fact, the melodic and non-melodic aspects seem to co-exist smoothly, and complement each other very well. Without the interjecting non-melodic material, Continue reading →

2008 Robert Helps Prize Winner

Jerry (Chiwei) Hui, Composer Conductor Winning work: Of Water and Love a work for chamber chorale, piano and clarinet-in-A Jerry (Chiwei) Hui has written a wide variety of music that ranges from music for orchestra that brings the soundscape of the East into Western orchestra to light-hearted choral arrangement of pop and jazz tunes. As a late-bloomer who did not start serious music training until undergraduate, Mr. Hui has already written for numerous musicians, campus ensembles and community ensembles. His music has been performed in Continue reading →