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Yao Chen: “O…What an Awakening!”

February 3, 2013

I bring in those sounds that take place in my daily life chaos, because they actually mean so much to my real life compared to those “beautiful sounds” in my imagination.

Yao Chen received support for his piece O…What an Awakening! through the 2012 Composer Assistance Program. Commissioned by the Wild Rumpus New Music Collective based in San Franciscio, O…What an Awakening! was premiered by Wild Rumpus on June 8, 2012, at ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco. Performers: Amy Sedan, flute; Sophie Huet, clarinet; Kelsey Walsh, piano; Christy Kyong, violin; Anne Suda, violoncello; Maria Janus, soprano; Nathaniel Berman, conductor.

Yao Chen writes of O… What an Awakening!:

To my understanding, O…What an Awakening is definitely another kind of music, and it is a sort of betrayal from my past musical thinking. During the composing, I let my musical thoughts expand, not extend; I bring in those sounds that take place in my daily life chaos, because they actually mean so much to my real life compared to those “beautiful sounds” in my imagination. Through writing this piece, I also happily embraced a different personality of me—rough, wild, formless, bold, frivolous and vulnerable, not the one who is always refined, delicate, sophisticated, smooth and well-mannered. And at last, I wrote this piece not only for people’s ears, but also for their eyes.