Flower reflected in the mirror and the moon reflected in the water means the mood cannot be traced physically; the metaphor is virtual and ethereal. Through the story of Yuanming Tao's "Record of Peach Blossom", the composer tries to use music to describe the modern people's pursuit of their dreams and future though self-reflection and exploration.
The music is divided into four sections, each of which is centred on the “Sheng", which is an ancient wind instrument. The composer uses it to represent the "human", and with each piece, it is paired with another main instrument in harmony. The rest are accompaniment instruments. "Mirror" is the 1st movement.
"Mirror" (solo sheng and second sheng): When the Wuling fisherman from the Jin Dynasty strayed into the Peach Garden, was his heart seeking purity on this land or fleeing from chaotic society? The second sheng plays behind the audience/backstage, representing the voice of the performer. From time to time, the sheng sounds slightly atonal, symbolizing social unrest and inner struggle.
"Flower" (Hulusheng and Pipa) describes flower clusters in the peach garden with singing and dancing. Although the flowers are beautiful and fragrant, they cannot be preserved forever. The same is true for our beautiful memory. Should we continue searching for the flowers in our memory, or put them in the deepest part of our heart?
"Water" (solo sheng and guzheng): Water is invisible, and reflects just like a mirror. After the fisherman leaves the Peach Blossom Garden, the composer continues to use flowing notes to represent the movement of water, while the pentatonic scale patterns paints a beautiful scene. The music from sheng and guzheng resonates from the heart.
"Moon" (solo sheng and dizi): Is this Peach Blossom tale a true story of a fisherman, or is it a wish for people to pursue their dreams? The solo sheng seems to be whispering by himself under the moon; the sound of the dizi is like a shadow: sometimes dancing, and sometimes strolling...
(Trans. Kiah Mok Goh/edit: Patty Chan)
Flower in Mirror, Moon in Water - Flower
Flower in Mirror, Moon in Water - Water
Flower in Mirror, Moon in Water - Moon