A Plea to Lady Chang’e

for Chamber Orchestra and Nanguan Pipa (2014), ca.10’

for String Quartet and Nanguan Pipa (2013), ca. 11’

推枕著衣— 南管新唱

Score available from Trigon Music Press

Pushing away the pillow, I get up to dress,
Feet lazy, Lifeless I sit by the window.
Stars and Lady Chang'e of the moon, I ask you time and again the date of his return:

No reply; I sadly wave my sleeves in self-pity.
I blame him for wasting my youthful time,
I blame him for carelessly letting go of my youthful life.

推枕着衣,阮起來步履懶移步,倚窗邊無聊興,只處望月瞻星;對嫦娥,阮殷勤問卜歸 期。伊不應,阮越自傷悲,空落得阮抽袖無意。想起來那是冤家汝來誤阮少年時,想起來 那是枉屈我只青春,汝來誤阮少年時。

In 2010, I had the good fortune of studying Nanguan, a traditional Taiwanese music, under the auspices of a Fulbright grant. A Plea to Lady Chang'e was the first piece I studied. Although it is only three minutes long, it took me more three months to learn.

After a year's study of Nanguan, I had two different extreme emotions: On one hand, I am eager to adapt what I learned in my composition. On the hand, however, there is a sense of fear that, with my only-scatch-the-surface knowledge, my composition could fail to express the essence of the elegant Nanguan music. It was this hesitation that lead me to delay, for two and half years, until this summer, my attempt at A Plea to Lady Chang'e. Because of the differences in notation systems and performing practices, the most challenge task for this piece is composing music which allows the two contrasting musical worlds to express themselves freely, intuitively, and collaboratively.

A Plea to Lady Chang’e ’s original version was for String Quartet and Nanguan Pipa, and was commissioned (Spring Autumn Music, Taiwan) and premiered by Shih, Yun-Xian and the Arts String Quartet on November 10th, 2013, the orchestra version was premiered by Wei, Mei-Hui and the chamber orchestra of the Taipei National University of the Arts on May 23rd, 2014.

2010 因為獲得傅爾布萊特研究獎助金回台, 在中華弦管研究團向廖寶林師學習南管吟唱及琵琶彈奏。雖然「 推枕着衣 」只有短短三分鐘, 但卻花了我三個月的時間學習。

學了一年的南管之後, 我有兩個極端相反的心情: 一方面是雀躍, 很希望能立刻把此曲及所學的學問運用在我的作品上; 另一方面是膽怯, 不知道是否能將所學的一點皮毛帶出南管深奧的意境。 就這樣過了兩年半, 今年夏天才鼓起勇氣嘗試。由於南管的傳統記譜法與演奏方式和西洋音樂截然不同, 所以這首曲子對我較大的挑戰是, 如何使音樂自然而生動的游離於這兩者之間。

推枕著衣原版為南管琵琶及弦樂四重奏(春秋樂集委託作曲)201311月由施芸仙與雅特菁英弦樂四重奏首演, 這個版本於20145月由魏美慧及國立台北藝術大學管弦樂團首演。