White Tiger: Evil Star 白虎:邪星 (2008)

for solo violin vn
ca 8 minutes
commissioned by Chia-chien Goh

Premiere: Feb 10th, 2009 by Chia-chien Goh; Madison WI


White Tiger is an Evil Star who brings harm to people and livestock. Its power comes through open mouths, through the sound they make. Every year at Waking of Insects (one of the 24 Solar Terms in Chinese agricultural calendar) the White Tiger returns for another attempt to bring havoc to the world.

The power of the White Tiger is both revered and feared. Many carry the pseudo-witchcraft of Banishing the Little People, directing the White Tiger to people whom they despise. Performers of Chinese Opera belive that the White Tiger seeks the stage as yet another way to harm, thus the ritual of the Offertory to the White Tiger. In all these rituals, raw pork serves as a bait and a bribe for the White Tiger; and if the White Tiger is captured, it is never killed. All things–even harm–must come full circle to complete the cycle of nature.

This piece is commissioned by and dedicated to Chia-Chien Goh.

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