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Ching-Wen Chao
1973 -
Ch.-W. Chao
Ching-Wen Chao (1973), a female composer, born in Taiwan, is currently a DMA candidate in composition in the music department at Stanford University, where she has studied with Chris Chafe, Brian Ferneyhough, and Jonathan Harvey. She also researches at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). She is currently a recipient of the Chiang-Ching Kuo FounationFellowship, and has recently awarded the first prize of the Young Composers Competition of the Asian Composers League. In recent years her works have been performed in several major US cities and countries that includes Canada, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, and China.
Requiem Moksa
Period:21st century
Composed in:2002
Musical form:free
In memory of:the victims of the 9/21 earthquake in Taiwan
Requiem Moksa (2002) contains:
I. Elegy in Flight - for solo violin
II. Moksa - for 12 vocalists and 4-channel tape
III. Spiritus Intus Alit - for solo bass and live electronics
Requiem Moksa is dedicated to the victims of the 9/21 earthquake in Taiwan. It embraces three movements, each of which owns its distinct instrumentation. There is no pause in between these movements. The use of three distinct languages in the second movement is intended not only to present intricate timbral combinations and various sound images in composition, but to also delineate a global compassion for the subject matter.
"Elegy in Flight" starts with a statement of a 59-note set, which is derived from a 59-syllable Buddhist mantra used in recitation for the dead. The set subsequently expands itself through the multiplication of its own intervals and then it is compressed in register. This expansion/compression process is stated 6 times over the course of the piece with variations of speed and emphasis. The six journeys through this material denote the Buddhist ``wheel of life,'' or the 6 realms of existence chosen by the dead in their next incarnation (based upon their karmic activity). The other material in the piece is a quasi chant melody that acts as an insertion that deliberately distances itself from the turning of the wheel, and it presents an alternative to this process: the ceasing of time and the presentation of an entirely different space.
"Spiritus Intus Alit", meaning ``the spirit drinks deep,'' serves as the postlude in this requiem. It speaks to the depth of the spiritual and philosophical struggle between faith in the afterlife and the finality of death. The two textual fragments are drawn from The Aeneid of Virgil, depicting a dialogue between Aeneas and his deceased father. One is to underscore the faith in rebirth through the process of metapsychosis, while the the other reinforces the finality of death. This also results in two sets of musical materials which alternate throughout the piece. A profoundly beautiful portion of Virgil's texts - translated as ``With full hands, give me lilies. Let me scatter these purple flowers, with these gifts, at least, be generous to my descendant's spirit, complete this service, althought it be useless'' - deeply expresses the sorrow loss of the living and the unchangeable ultimation of death. Toward the end this element leads to the depart of the two worlds, sung by a distinctive diphonic technique.
The making of the 4-channel tape is realized under CLM (Common Lisp Music) environment via utilization of ATS (analysis transformation Synthesis), SMS (spectral Modeling Synthesis), dlocsig (multi-channel spatialization) and granular synthesis.