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Sketch of Lake St Clair for 2 Pianos


YanpengZhang
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Kickstarter Project for Music Jotter begins May 10th. Write music on the web or desktop computer.
Has Midi Scrubbing & Easy Tuplet Entry.
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A very meditative piece. It probably got no comments because there is not much to criticize ;-) At times, it looks really difficult to play. The requirement of "two advanced/virtuoso pianists" s definitely true. Towards the end, it all gets a bit stirred up; this part didn't sound as well-rounded as the rest, but I guess this is intentional. It would be fine to know the programme underlying the music to fully appreciate the music.

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you all for the positive comments!  :grin::grin::grin:

I published the post here then completely forgot about it.

Below is a short "program note" I wrote last year for your information.

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A few years ago, I was an out-and-out pessimist (music-wise), who firmly held the view that conservatism, the beauty of which I admire greatly, had been “persecuted” since the post-war years and was doomed to head towards extinction. By conservatism, I mean audience-friendly harmonic vocabulary, instrumental techniques that are employed with reason, textural innovations that are able to be properly perceived, to name but a few.

I seldom, if ever, conveyed my beliefs to friends and fellow composers. This is partly because of my shy personality, the other main reason being a conspicuous lack of glittering CV. Who would value the words of an unknown young fella possessing no PhD degree, no major competition winning, and no fancy dissertation to accompany his portfolio?

Fresh off the conservatorium, I felt unappreciated and isolated from the academia due to my inherent nature – the conservative musical taste. Soon, anxieties escalated into extreme levels: I ceased to write music in the absence of motivation. I didn’t really pity myself concerning this decision, for much of my spare time was inevitably occupied by daily hurdles, mainly money-related stuff.

One summer, I paid a rare visit to the Central Highlands region of Tasmania. Lake St Clair is one of the major (fortunately not “touristy” at all) scenic highlights in this area. I remember I exclaimed loudly and joyfully at the sight of the lake. What impressed me most was her un-impressiveness – excuse my bizarre wording. Yes, she is beautiful, indubitably, yet not quite like the kind of beauty you would find in a heavily photoshopped panorama. The low-key vibe is a major turn-on for me. Never before had I been deeply touched by the austere simplicity of a place. This is a real hidden gem, not like the “hidden gems” that the Sydney property developers unashamedly boast about.

I pondered hard over what I saw. When our Mother Earth gave birth to Lake St Clair a couple of million years ago, did she really care about how attractive her daughter looked from the perspective of human? Did Mother Earth create this remarkable Lake Goddess with the intention of, I don’t know, winning an interstellar competition?

I started to conduct an audit on my relationship with composition. The result? Joke’s on me, I guess. I had been composing for years for the sake of recognition, honour, social status, becoming the leading figure of a particular aesthetic school, unrealistic silly dreams of being featured in future textbooks, the list goes on and on, anything but the expression of beauty itself!

What a trip! What a wake-up call! Now that I have learned my valuable lesson, I shall do what I deem right and proper, regardless of how tawdry the mainstream academia is!

After sorting out the typical post-graduation mess (moving home, getting a job, applying for a home loan, etc.), I made the swiftest dash back to the music world. That summer trip to Lake St Clair had become so etched in my memory that I felt obliged to write it down.

Dear audiences/score readers, what you hear/see in the following 11 minutes/24 pages, although titled “Sketch of Lake St Clair”, is more than just a musical rendition of Tasmanian landscape. It is also a journey of self discovery, the revitalization of a young composer’s faith in the arts, and a celebration of the death of the pessimist me!

This work is a genuine attempt at writing something from the bottom of my heart, driven by my overwhelming inner desire, as opposed to the greed for fame. Hence, it can be deemed “clichéd” or “not inventive” by some ambitious and well-informed critics or fellow composers. I would invite them to escape from their complex world and visit Lake St Clair, Tasmania. My friends, I kindly urge you to leave your beloved techniques behind, be it multiphonics, live electronics, torturing the piano strings or the like, for one day only; just quietly and humbly enjoy the atmosphere. Then you will understand why conservatism deserves a place in our world.

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