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for chamber ensemble (7'30")

[fl/alto fl, cl/bass cl, pno, 2 vln, 1va, 1 vc, 1 db]

Aurora (‘polar light’) is a natural phenomenon characterized by the spectacular swirling streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky near the North or South Pole.  In Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of the dawn who dances across the sky to announce the arrival of the sun.


I had images of moving refracted lights in my mind when I was composing the piece.  The refracted lights are symbolized by the timbral diversions of the continuation of the layering of melodic lines. Melodies play an important role in this piece. The two wind instruments, the flute and clarinet, are treated mainly as melodic instruments, playing expansive and expressive lines, which are always colored, swashed, layered, thickened and extended by the sounds played by the string instruments.  The piano is treated as a percussion instrument, not in the sense of providing beats, but rhythmically decorating the melodic lines.

I dedicate this piece to the sufferers and victims of the disasters in the cruelest month of May, 2008.


Commissioned by the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild for Musicarama 2008 Festival, this piece was premiered by Ensemble TIMF (Korea). This piece was selected to be included in Millenial Masters Vol. 2 on Ablaze Records (USA). The recording was performed by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and conducted by John Winzenburg in 2010. (Available for purchase at here or Amazon)

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