Programme Notes

    The Endless Sands of the Taklimakan - for large ensemble, was originally written for the Orchid Ensemble, a trio comprised of Erhu, Zheng, and Marimba/Percussion. It is part of a series of pieces dealing with the legendary Silk Road, both as geography and idea. The Taklimakan is a vast forbiding desert in western China, that had to be skirted in order for Caravans to proceed further west to Kashgar and beyond, or further east into the heart of China and the ancient capital of Changan. This infamous desert - which in Turki means "go in and you will not come out" – has been feared and cursed by travellers for more than 2,000 years.
    The work is meant to be a landscape in sound, moving through several stages and moods: at first quiet and foreboding as the looming desert, and gradual and plodding as a Caravan would surely be. After experiencing the turbulence of a sandstorm all falls silent and distant again, erasing our footprints, leaving only our thoughts to attempt an impress upon eternity.