A Journey to Compromise (2011)

Erhu

For Flute, Erhu, Cello, Piano, and Percussion
Duration: 6.5 minutes

 

 

I have titled this piece “A Journey to Compromise” because it depicts an American’s journey into the People’s Republic of China, and subsequently, into the world of Chinese music through use of the ancient Chinese instrument, the Erhu.

The piece begins with a theme depicting the American, who is nervous but excited about his journey to this new land. He starts to look around and see all the cultural differences surrounding him in the PRC; however, the more he looks, the more he struggles to comprehend these differences. There is consequently a clash between the two styles as they seem unable to find any common ground. It seems as if the two nations truly are worlds apart. However, as each musical theme and style begins to compromise, a natural blend of the two emerges and develops. The union of the two styles, which concludes the piece, creates hope for the future of the two cultures.

This piece is not only one of exploration of musical styles existing within the PRC, but also one of self-exploration. The thematic construction of the piece represents finding balance and peace within oneself, and learning to accept and appreciate the differences of others.