Work for pipa (traditional Chinese lute) and electronics (triggered fixed media and some live processing). Commissioned by The Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra for Su Yun-Han.
Composer: Timothy Roy
Year of Composition: 2016
Instrumentation: pipa and electronics
Type of Electronics: Fixed
Number of Channels: 2
Video Component: None
The musical inspiration for this piece comes from my fascination with the murals of the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, China. The artwork famously depicts musicians performing while dancing and flying though the air. One image – that of a woman playing pipa behind her back – is so iconic that many Chinese dancers train in order to recreate her graceful pose. Behind the Back alludes to the ceremonial atmosphere of the Mogao murals while imagining the sort of music provided by the acrobatic women depicted within – a music which incorporates passages suggestive of dance and aerial maneuvers. At all times, the virtuosity and lyricism of the pipa is the focal point.