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Voice of Dong (2011)

For Saxophone Quartet

I. Dance of Mouth Organs
II. Nocturne

Voice of Dong, written for saxophone quartet, expresses my strong impressions and feelings of Dong nationality, a Chinese minority located in southwest of China. This work is inspired by my own experience of visiting Dong villages in Guizhou province in 2001. One of the villages I visited is Xiao Huang, which has been named "hometown of Dong folk songs". Their clearly-layered multi-voice folk songs, passionate dance accompanied by mouth organ ensembles, as well as their landmark architecture Drum Towers greatly shocked me! I can deeply feel how much they love music, how energetic their lives are, and how important it is for them that their music and lives are an organic integration.

In this work, I use Dong folk music's characteristics, such as the la pentatonic scale, grace notes, imitation among voices, and call and response between a soloist and the rest of the ensemble. The first movement "Dance of Mouth Organs" depicts women and men's vivid dance accompanied by men's mouth organ ensemble; the second movement "Nocturne" depicts a night view in Dong village, including birds and crickets' chirping, a flowing creek, and tree leaves rustling in the breeze.

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