Ten Thousand Ugly Ink Blots

- Ten Thousand Ugly Ink Blots -
for string quartet (2006)
by Hyo-shin Na

The title and inspiration of Ten Thousand Ugly Ink Blots comes from a series of four paintings made in 1685 by the Chinese painter Shi-tao (1641 - 1720). The fourth painting includes his own poem:

Ten thousand ugly ink blots to vex Mi Fei; A few flaccid strokes to make Tung Yuan roll over with laughter.The perspective lacks unity from my ignorance of a winding landscape; The foreground is too confused, just a few rustic cottages can be made out. I have broken out of the mold and liberated my "mind's eyes!" Like a Transcendent riding the wind, whose flesh and bones have etherealized.

In order to "break out of the mold" and to liberate my composer's "mind's eye", I traced abstract elements from Shi-tao's paintings onto 17 transparent sheets, and used these sheets in varied overlappings and superimpositions as a direct source for textural and melodic materials.  

This piece was made possible with the support of the Arts Council Silicon Valley, the Argosy Foundation, and the Ives String Quartet.

 Hyo-shin Na

                 Published by Lantro Music - Belgium

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