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World Premiere of Lei Liang's Six Seasons in San Diego

Oct. 11, 2022

Lei Liang, a UC San Diego Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor, and his students have spent four years working closely with Scripps Institution oceanographers John Hildebrand and Joshua Jones to explore the sound of the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic—one of the most inaccessible places to humans on earth. From their fruitful collabortion emerges Liang's stunning new composition, Six Seasons, to be premiered on October 15 by the Mivos Quartet at the Conrad Prebys Music Center at the University of California San Diego. Six Seasons combines the sound of the ambient environment (ice, waves, wind), its inhabitants (beluga whales, bowhead whales, bearded seals)—captured by hydrophones deployed at the sea floor—and creative response from one of the world’s leading contemporary music string quartets, the Mivos Quartet. George Varga of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on this unique creative partnership here.

Additionally, on October 21, Elena Schwarz leads the San Diego Symphony in a performance of Lei Liang's Bamboo Lights. Lei Liang says of the work, "Dense bamboo forests surround and shelter the villages in southern China. Those groves bore witness to the horrors and atrocities of war: howling winds, flickering lights, eyes, shining, gazing, peering through the leaves […]."

The work is a memorial to the composer's family members who perished in World War II. Bamboo Lights evokes images of the bamboo grove in a manner similar to the haiku poetry of Matsuo Basho. The work’s four movements emulate several aspects of the bamboo, concluding with the dramatic imagery of light flickering through the shoots, a parallel to Liang’s ancestors gazing at him from heaven.

(Bamboo Lights: I. Howling Bamboo/Callithumpian Consort/Stephen Drury, conductor)

To learn more about Lei Liang, visit:

Lei Liang
Six Seasons (2022)
for string quartet and electronics

Bamboo Lights (2013)
1(pic).1.1.1- 4timp, crot, bng, b.d, bamboo chimes, lg bottle [or whistle]; II: xyl, mar, cym, tamt, bng, flex, lg bottle)