“The Creation”, Trio for Erhu, Cello, and Piano

I’ve recently completed a new chamber piece for erhu, cello and piano which I am very excited to share with you! This is my first time writing for erhu and it has been a wonderful experience getting to know this beautiful instrument. The piece will be performed live in Longbeach later this year by members of the Los Angeles Composers Collective.

Program notes:

“The Creation”, Trio for Erhu, Cello, and Piano, is a musical story of the creation of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis. The three instruments playing the one musical composition represent the one God in three Persons. In Genesis, it is these three persons that create the world and in the music it is the three instruments together that depict the creation and bring to our minds the world being made.

The erhu is an ancient Chinese instrument and what is interesting about its inclusion in this piece is the fact that it is believed to have originated in central Asia. Some people also believe that the original Eden was located somewhere in Asia. I’ve employed both an ancient Chinese sound and a modern western one with the goal in mind to join the two, hand in hand, in a cohesive whole.

The piece moves through several of the major events found in Genesis. It begins with the existence of God before all things and then explores His act of creating. The piece is not made of movements so much as ideas, musical ideas which flow from one to another. They are as follows:

The Unmoved Mover
Wind Over the Deep
Birth of Light
Land and Sea
Winged Birds
Sea Monsters
Birds and Fish, Sea and Sky
Animals and Plants on Land
The Meeting of Man and Woman
The Seventh Day

The musicians have these ideas clearly labeled in their music, but the audience is allowed and encouraged to use their imagination to see in their mind’s eye what is taking place. This is not meant to be a play-by-play depiction of Genesis but is rather an exploration into the act of creation that, when we look around at the wonders of the natural world and at ourselves, we know took place at some point in time, an act that again took place, in imitation of the original creation, during the composition of this music.

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