Knot (full score)
Orchestra; duration:  30'00"
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World premiere of "Knot", performed by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO) at the Chung-Hsing Hall, Taichung, Taiwan on May 26, 2017 with Kai-Hsi Fan conducting.

"Knot" – Program Note

Composed for a large scale orchestration plus four percussions, this piece was inspired by the seminal Taiwanese literature "Turbid Waters Trilogy" and "Taiwanese Trilogy" by Zhong ZhaoZheng. The series of novels describe the early hard life and persevere mentality of the Hakka people. With virtues of diligence and thrift, they struggled through adversities, crossed foreign boundaries, and constantly challenged themselves. The music expresses the indomitable spirits of the Hakka ancestors and how they again and again untied the “knot” of hardship and difficulty in life, portraying a picture of the Hakka culture and heritage.

Movement I. Furious Waves – This movement describes the fighting history of the Hakka ancestors during the era of Japan's occupation of Taiwan. As the music begins, all the percussion instruments together depict a war torn scenery with irregular rhythms and unpredictable appearances. All the bass range instruments produce a rhythmic, uniform strong voice that represents the horns of the army and the furious roars of the people. Contemporary articulations are used to express the unease and fear of the people. It was an era of darkness, anguish, and desperation.

Movement II. Harvesting Tea – This movement describes the busy farming season of the Hakka ancestors. They sang when they picked tea leaves in order to alleviate hardships and express admirations between men and women. The music begins with Adagio; the exchanges between brass instruments and wood wind instruments imitate the lyrical conversations between the loved ones. When the tempo changes to Allegro, the first and second violins play 16th notes, with the cellos and double basses playing pizzicato. This section depicts a vivid scene of the hectic farming activities, related to the busy summer-to-fall agricultural season as described in the novels.

Movement III. Children of the Earth ­– This Adagio movement expresses the traditional “hard neck” spirits of the Hakka people, which supported them through constant exploration and migration to foreign lands. Under difficult circumstances, they always managed to protect their homes and maintain their family heritage. The music begins with free tempo. The violin solo tells the story with a folk-song-style melody, expressing both sad and happy moods. This section reflects what was described in the novels an indignant feeling of the Hakka people on the ceding of Taiwan during the late Qing dynasty.

Movement IV. Reborn – This movement describes the departure from the time of darkness. Surviving the wars of defending the motherland, the Hakka ancestors finally broke through the shackles and reached the milestone of a brand new era. The music begins with complex rhythms in 8/8 beat. The strings and percussions march on with a steady footsteps. The brass and wood wind instructions progressively build up the harmonies, representing the dawn of the new era. The final movement and the first movement form a contrast and correspond to each other.

This piece was commissioned by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2016.

《結》– 樂曲解說

此作品為大型管弦樂編制,加上四部打擊樂器。取材於台灣文學之母鐘肇政的小說《濁流三部曲》及《台灣人三部曲》。以四個樂章 來描述客家先民勤儉持家的美德、在困境中奮力穿透夾縫、跨渡邊界、超越自我、不屈不撓的人生哲學。用音樂來表達先民如何去突 破一層層堅苦困難旳環結,並刻畫出一幅幅客家文化的圖景與民族傳承的精神。

第一樂章<怒濤> - 描述日據時代客家先民對抗日軍的勇敢奮戰史。音樂一䦕始所有的打撀樂器以不規則的節奏及沒有秩序出現的強烈聲響代表小說媥啎黤I燒,槍林彈雨的戰區,其他所有低音域聲部的 樂器則演奏有規律性,整齊劃一的強音來表示軍隊的號角同時也意謂著人民的怒吼聲,用現代音樂的語法來顯示人民的恐懼不安,而 這樣的畫面是黑暗的,被吞噬的,是沒有光亮的年代。

第二樂章<採茶> - 描繪客家先民忙碌耕種,採茶時唱山歌忘卻工作勞苦,男女間藉由傳唱山歌表達愛慕之情景。樂章䦕始以慢板的速度藉由銅管和木管來往的山歌旋律交織來表示阿哥和阿妹之間傳唱表 達相悦之意。到樂曲轉換速度時,在弦樂部份第一及第二小提琴以16分音符節奏行進,並用中、大提琴和低音提琴的撥奏來掲示客 家農業活動的繁忙,連結小說堶悸漁L末秋收,秋末冬秧的農忙時節。

第三樂章<大地兒女> - 為慢板樂章, 主要表達客家先民的墾拓遷移,在困惡的環境下依然保持客家人傳統的“硬頸”精神,維護自己的家園土地及家族傳承。樂曲一䦕始是散板的自由速度,以小提琴獨奏娓娓道出山歌式 亦哀亦樂的旋律做為開展,反映小說中客家人對祖國割讓台灣而感到忿忿不平。

第四樂章<重生> - 描繪走出黑暗時代、經歷戰火、保衛祖國,突破重重枷鎖,邁向新時代的里程碑。樂曲以八八拍的複節奏開始,打擊與弦樂器以穩定的腳步行進,銅管和木管漸進式的和聲推移來暗喻 新時代的來臨。終樂章和第一樂章是形成對比的,也是前後相應的。