Li Po's Music
for String Orchestra, Oboe, and Piano Solo (2005)
A few years ago, while studying Chinese, I came across a poem by the 8th Century Chinese poet Li Po.
Hearing Qin Music in the Moonlight
I sit alone in the moonlight
Nothing worries me
But I hear something distant, delicate
The sound of the qin.
Or maybe it's the cold wind in the pine forest
Or the fluttering of fingers
Over a serene heart.
That great qin player died long ago
No one in this world will know this music...
I subsequently began to write Li Po's Music, at first for Piano and a small String Orchestra (I was writing for Barbara Day Turner's San Jose Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Schultz), later adding oboe, as a melody instrument contrasting timbrally with the string orchestra. Like sitting alone in the moonlight, the music is quiet and a bit melancholy.