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Yuanyuan (Kay) He

Tucson, AZ      

Dr. Yuanyuan (Kay) He is a composer and video artist with roots in China.  Her works often explore and intertwine various forms of media to create unique audiovisual experiences that engage the audience. Many of her works involve collaborations with choreographers, dancers, video artists, audio technicians, and stage lighting and design artists. As a multimedia composer, she is very active in the music community. Kay serves as the Creative Director for Electronic Music Midwest (EMM), which is an annual music festival dedicated to programming a wide variety of electroacoustic music and providing high quality electronic media performances. She is also the founder and Director of the Austin, TX-based Turn Up Multimedia Festival for Women Artists, which works to promote women composers, performers, and visual artists. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, where she teaches composition, electro-acoustic music, and orchestration. 
During her career, Kay has won many awards and been selected for many performances in the U.S. and abroad.  Of note, her piano trio Imprint of the Spring Breeze ​won the grand prize at the 2nd ACC International Composition Competition in 2017 (Gwangju, South Korea).  ISCM selected the flute and electronics piece On the Pivot of an Abandoned Carouselfor its 2016 World Music Days (Tongyeong, South Korea).  Passeig de Grácia for orchestra was selected for the 2015 ACO Underwood New Music Readings (New York, NY).  On the Threshold of a Drizzly Reality for cello and electronics was selected for 2014 performances at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Athens, Greece and the Root Signals music festival (Jacksonville, Florida).  Shadow of Dewdrops was selected as a finalist for TICF2015 (Bangkok, Thailand) and the 2014 installment of Gamma UT (Austin, TX).  Legends of Old Peking won the 2012 Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composition Competition.  Dying Away won the 2011 DuoSolo Emerging Composer Competition (Cortona, Italy).  And, Destiny of Sputnik was chosen for the 2011 Beijing Modern Music Festival Young Composers Project.  
Kay earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and her Master of Music degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied under Dr. Russell Pinkston and Dr. Yevgeniy Sharlat.  

On the Pivot of an Abandoned Carousel

On the Pivot of an Abandoned Carousel (2015) for flute, electronics and video. The piece describes the haunted scene of a carnival, once a beautiful place full of happiness and joy.

Here, the flute, which I use to imitate the calliope, becomes increasingly more distorted until it ultimately collapses. The scene becomes abandoned. The flute and electronics overlap so the audience cannot determine what is real and what is not. The piece thus mimics our memories. It shows the exaggerations and delusions we form in our heads.

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Shadow of Dew Drops

Shadow of Dew Drops for violin, violoncello and piano was inspired by a poetry of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) “Xiao Chi – A little Pond” written by the famous poet Yang Wanli (1127-1206). This poetry depicts: the silent mouth of a spring “cherishes” the little streamlet and lets it flow quietly into the pond; the shadow of a tree flowing on the surface of the water, as though it has fallen in love with the soft sunshine; The pointed tip of a lotus sprout appears above the water, quickly, a dragonfly lands on it.

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Love YOU … niverse

“I see my entire body as a brilliant and luminous object, which is radiating with love and gratitude. The energy of this love is filling all cells of my physical body, and lighting up every corner of my mind. I feel the undeniably strong connection towards to you, and then, this shinning connection destroyed my world. My world collapses with yours. Born into the nova in the Love You … niverse. ”

In the piece, atmosphere ambient music combines with astronomic video to reveal the love universe, which is sentimental and unreal.

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