Exploring Mixed Ensembles Series #21

John Oliver:Scenes from an Intercultural Marriage (Fourth Movement: Look in the Mirror)

Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra / Chih-Sheng Chen / National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan 2014.11.18. (commissioned work, world premiere)

“Scenes from an Intercultural Marriage” is a title that I invented after I finished writing the music. So although it may seem that there is a story being told in the music, there is not! The music mixes together the musical flavours of China and North American: pentatonic with blues and jazz. The open strings of the cello contain 4 of the 5 notes of the pentatonic scale used in Chinese music. At the beginning of the music, you will hear the cello and the orchestra play these four notes as ascending perfect fifths. Then the cello will pluck the strings and fill in those notes with a blues scale. This is the basis for much of the music you will hear. The names of the four movements are: 1] Good Morning Vancouver!; 2] Shooting Stars; 3] Learning to Dance; and 4] Look in the Mirror.

~ John Oliver