Exploring Mixed Ensembles Series #16

Lan TUNG: Ba Ban Variations

Erhu: Lan TUNG / Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Quanta Philharmonic Orchestra / Chih-Sheng CHEN / National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan 2011.12.23.

Inspired by Ba Ban or Eight Phrases, the root of hundreds of pieces in traditional Chinese repertoire, this original work written for improvising musicians explores the contrasts between tonalities and genres. It embodies the paradox of many opposite characters: chromatic and pentatonic passages, composed and improvised materials, contemporary and traditional forms, with sudden shifts between surreal or mysterious quality and an exciting fast 3+2+3 rhythmic cycle.

Ba Ban Variations was premiered by the Vancouver Creative Music Institute at 2009 Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and has since then been performed by a number of ensembles (Proliferasian, Birds of Paradox, Turing Point Ensemble, Upstream Ensemble, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Orchid Ensemble) in Canada, US, Taiwan, and China. It is released by Birds of Paradox on its 2009 debut CD.