Wang Jie, Composer | A Silence Older than Love

A Silence Older than Love

A Silence Older than Love

A SILENCE OLDER THAN LOVE – a song cycle of intimate desire

Commissioned by Town Hall Seattle

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Text by Emily Dickinson June Sylvester Saraceno

Instrumentation: Soprano, Violin, Violoncello and Piano

Duration: 16 minutes

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Program Notes:

The appeal of the feminine eroticism has been hard to resist. In moments of self-indulgent, I’ve collected numerous poems on female’s most intimate desire. Sometimes, I accompanied the reading with a glass of Merlot. Other times, musical ideas began dropping in but who would want to work under the spell of mysterious pleasures? To be fair, the idea of a song cycle setting erotic poems earned a spot on my back burner. I told myself that when timing is right, I will be as ready as these poems.

Such happy timing did occur one Winter evening, when Joshua and I pumped our stomach full of Hungarian pastry, brain-storming ideas for this concert. Half a chocolate cake into the conversation, I hear a voice coming out of the icing: “Pierrot Lunaire will be on the second half.” My guts began feeling warm and fussy from traveling back in time when I watched a live performance of Pierrot for the first time – the moon, the intoxicating sound world, mirrored by a bright rising moon at the opposite side of the shop window and a centurial interior noise recapitulating a Parisian corner café from the 1910’s.

Two women poets. One hundred years apart. Never met. But they know each other’s innermost heaven.

I was later reassured that the voice indeed came from Joshua, not the cake. I’d like to thank Joshua, for motivating me to compose this song cycle which occupies a special place in my heart, and to program it next to the monumental Op. 21. I also thank Emily Dickinson and June Sylvester Saraceno, both of whom I’ve never met, but they know everything about my innermost heaven.

-Wang Jie

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June 24th 2014 | Town Hall Seattle

Mary MacKenzie, soprano | Karen Kim, violin | Joshua Roman, violoncello | David Kaplan, piano


Contact Wang Jie to inquire about the score
08 Jun 2014