Liaozhai Fantasy
(two pianos), 2007 [7'38"]

This piece was world-premiered by pianists Hyun Lee and Jean Maxon at the Department of Music of the University of Rhode Island on October 17, 2008.

Program notes

This music was inspired by “Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (Liaozhai)” written by Pu Songling in the Chinese Qing Dynasty (c. 1680). Intrigued by the various characters including vixen spirits and ghosts in this book, the composer developed fantasies from these mysterious stories and expressed them in music. The structure of the music is based on a union of colorful romanticism and artistic realism. The pentatonic scales represent realistic entities such as human characters, while the atonal melodic intervals represent abstract entities such as ghosts and spirits. As the focus constantly switches between mysterious realism and realistic mythology, the music evolves with an abundance of colors and changes. The music ends along the blurry boundary between the reality and the fantastic, and the mysterious meditation remains.