As a historical comparison between pipa and clarinet, pipa is much older, by almost ten times, than of clarinet. Pipa serves as a powerful and muscular instrument in Chinese traditional music, while clarinet has become one of the most significant woodwind instruments in western contemporary music, due to its timbral and registral diversity. The techniques in both pipa and clarinet have been greatly developed into the 21st century. In this piece, the composer merges each instrument's traditional and contemporary techniques and symbolic representation, creating a bridge to link Eastern and Western cultures and musical techniques. The pieces focuses on the following:
1) Similar and parallel techniques: wide range leaps within fast tempo, multiphonics for clarinet vs. pipa chords, tremolo (pipa’s 輪奏/滾奏vs. clarinet’s tremolo/trills), same pitch using different timbre (pipa: repeat same pitch by using different strings, position, and harmonic techniques; clarinet: use different keys and finger positions for same repeated pitch, etc), and special effects—clarinet key clicking vs. pipa muted strings or highest pitch from each string for percussive sounds, etc.
2) Contrary and difference: the constructional differences between two instruments—pipa using nails to pick strings vs. clarinet using a single reed to blow into wood pipe.
The title Prospective Congruence represents the concept of “perfect match (marriage)” between pipa and clarinet.
This piece is funded by the Taiwan National Cultural and Arts Foundation