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R[o/u]LE(s) II

JACK Quartet performs Shih-Wei Lo's "R[o/u]LE(s) II," a newly composed work drawing on issues of national identity and sexuality in our time

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R[o/u]LE(s) recording project completed

Posted on June 2, 2018 by Shih-Wei Lo

Recorded by the JACK Quartet, my first string quartet “R[o/u]LE(s)” has finally gone through the stages of mixing and mastering. The excerpt of the result can be heard above, and the recording is expected to be included in my upcoming album. 

It was an extremely rewarding experience to work with the JACK this time, mostly because this piece embraces elements that may manifest performers’ personal taste and approach to music rather than seeking a standardized/idealized presentation. Hopefully more and more unique interpretations of this piece will happen in the near future! 


Originally written for (string) quartet with percussion instruments, R[o/u]LE(s) was commissioned by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, and was premiered by the Montréal-based Bozzini Quartet on September 8th, 2016 at TivoliVredenburg’s Hertz Hall in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In March 2017, the JACK Quartet will bring its new form to life with their dazzling skill and artistry. This time, R[o/u]LE(s) will be expanded through the use of Ambisonic technology (surround sound system) in order to create a more intimate, immersive experience, resulting in R[o/u]LE(s) II. The project of live recording/performance of R[o/u]LE(s) II is expected to take place at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City.


– About the work

Written for (string) quartet with percussion instruments, the very first idea of R[o/u]LE(s) is to look into an issue that I have been interested in since leaving my home country: Taiwanese identity. Over the period of several hundred years, Taiwanese identity has constantly shifted/reshaped because of its historical background and external impacts. To some extent, people on that island have always been told to be “who they are” or “whom they should be,” even though lately there are voices that articulate the necessity of discovering/creating/redetermining the real meaning of being Taiwanese. This phenomenon inspires me to bring in non-string instruments/objects into a string quartet, which, rather than solely being a means to colorize the ensemble, emphasizes on the intersection between how the performers control their own instruments and how they approach to the assigned ones.

Project Media

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Features: Shih-Wei Lo

This piece was commissioned by the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, and was premiered by the Quatuor Bozzini during the festival on September 8th, 2016 at Hertz Hall, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht NL. The percussion instruments are purposely placed into a string quartet as a way to reveal the difficulty of possessing the identity of Taiwanese and LGBTQ in the 21st century, which is embodied not only through the string players’ struggle to “play the percussion instruments correctly” but also via noise of overpressure/distortion in the strings.

…toward anatman
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Features: Shih-Wei Lo

Commissioned and premiered by the Nieuw Ensemble, “…toward anatman” explores the emotional and psychological reactions that the composer experienced during a particular difficult time of his, attempting to transfigure these into music in hopes of manifesting the spiritual journey that leads to the realization of “anatman,” a Sanskrit word with the meaning of “no-self.” The premiere of “…toward anatman” took place on April 2nd, 2016 at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.

Start and End Dates



New York City, New York

1 update
Last update on June 2, 2018

Project Created By

New York, New York
Taiwanese composer Shih-Wei Lo creates music that involves acoustic instruments, voice, digital media, mechatronic art, and interdisciplinary collaboration, among others. His work is often informed by the diverse articulations of time and space in various domains such as art, literature, culture, and politics, and may be viewed as a process of transfiguring these into music,…

In Collaboration With

New York, New York


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