Category: Symphonic / Orchestral
Although Asia has long since become an industrial society with best universities and an impressive intellectual upper class, the hidden world of demons and spirits still plays a major role. This is also due to the high value placed on family, ancestors and the deceased. Gods, spirits and demons still cause illness and strokes of fate in everyday belief - despite all scientific enlightenment. These are sent by the ancestors as punishment for wrongdoing. Chinese mythology knows a wealth of monsters and evil forces that threaten man and order. The world of these myths is so rich and diverse that it can only be hinted at here in fragments. The composition "Hidden Worlds" attempts to highlight some of the constellations from this wealth. In the solo sheng, the more personal emotions and fears can be found; the orchestra represents the mysterious of the demon world.
Movements: HIDDEN WORLD OF DEMONS & SPIRITS
for Sheng and Chinese Orchestra
1: ZHONGYUAN - GATES OF THE HELL OPEN FOR HUNGRY GHOSTS
2: JIANGSHI - NIGHT OF THE UNDEAD
3: THE SECRET LAND OF GOOD SPIRITS
4: DAEMON RITUAL
Duration: 30 minutes
Publisher of notes/sheet music: Manuskript beim Autor , 2020
Instrumentation: Sheng solo
Flutes: BangDi, QuDi,XinDi
Sopran-, Tenor- und Bass-Sheng
Sopran-, Alto- und Bass-Suona
Plucked Instruments: Yanquin – Liuquin, Pipa 1+2, ZongRuan, Daruan, Harp
Timpani and 5 percussion players
Strings: Gaohu, Erhu 1+2, Zhonghu, Gehu (Violoncello), Bass
Introduction: Although China - and all of Asia - has long since become an industrial society with a business world, the best schools, universities and an impressive intellectual upper class, the hidden world of demons and spirits still plays a major role. This is also due to the high value placed on family, ancestors and the deceased. Gods, spirits and demons still cause illness and strokes of fate in everyday belief - despite all scientific and medical enlightenment. Diseases - so the general awareness - are sent by the ancestors as punishment for misconduct. Chinese mythology knows a wealth of monsters and evil forces that threaten man and order. As in mythologies worldwide, "demons" are forces of fate, "spirits" and admonishing voices of conscience that have a direct effect on people. The demonology of ancient China knows two groups corresponding to the cosmic forces of Yin and Yang: the "Shen" as good, spirits and the "Kuei" (Guei) as the souls of the dead, considered evil, who received no burial (for example in the case of drowned persons) or to whom no ancestral sacrifices were offered. The "dragon", for example, is a well-known mythological figure that is considered the ancestor of mankind, determines seasons and harvest and to which mostly positive qualities (associated with the lucky number nine) are attributed. According to popular belief, many spirits can also take human form and mutate between "beautiful seductive woman" and snake or vixen ...
In everyday Chinese life we find the belief in demons amazingly present. For example, the elevated door thresholds (especially of the temple), which are difficult to cross, are built to ward off demons, since the undead are said to have limited mobility due to their stiff knees. For example, house entrances or bridges and footbridges (over ponds) are usually built in zigzag style. Feng Shui has become a real (expensive to pay for) science, where roof slopes, partitions and bends regulate an orderly flow of the energy field Chi. There are also special places like the ghost town of Fengdu, which has been notorious as the "entrance to Hades" since the Han Dynasty.
The Hungry Ghost Festival called Zhongyuan is one of four festivals to worship the ancestors. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. On the first day of the seventh month, the spirits of the deceased are released from hell, and when they become hungry, they are given meals in their families on Zhongyuan. Traditionally, during the month of the spirits, dangerous activities or nightly walks are avoided...
In many Asian stories and movies the "Jiangshi", also "hopping vampires", "gangsi" in Korea, "kyonshi" in Japan, "phi dip chin" in Thailand play a role. With stiff limbs, mostly outstretched arms and Qing Dynasty clothing, the undead walk around and kill living beings, usually at night, to feed on their life energy qi.
The world of all these myths, sagas, classifications and reports ...up to concrete regulations of everyday life and modern society are so rich and diverse that they can only be hinted at here in fragments. The composition "Hidden Worlds" attempts to illustrate some of the constellations from this abundance. The soloistic individuality of the sheng reflects the more personal emotions and fears; the orchestra represents the mysterious of the demon world.
Dedication: Für Wu Wei, den Freund und endlos reisenden Virtuosen, der meine Musik in die ganze Welt trägt!
World premiere: 02.05.2020, Taipei/Taiwan
Performers at world premiere: World-premiere:
2. Mai 2020 in Taipei/Taiwan mit TCO Taipei Chinese Orchestra,
Wu Wei (Sheng), conductor: Yu-An Chang