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Lei Liang Portrait Concert at Miller Theatre


(Lei Liang, photo: Howard Lipin)

On November 17th, Miller Theatre at Columbia University will present a Portrait Concert of composer Lei Liang. With performances by the JACK Quartet, loadbang, bassist Mark Dresser and with Steven Schick conducting, this concert will feature the New York premiere of Liang's concerto for double bass and ensemble Luminous (2014), as well as the World Premiere of Lakescape V, a new work commissioned by Miller Theatre and dedicated to loadbang. 

(Excerpt from Luminous, performed by Mark Dresser, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Steven Shick, conductor)

Liang's work is often influenced by traditional Chinese music—from Opera, to Mongolian throat singing, to instruments such as the guqin, an ancient zither—and brings these influences to bear on decidedly idiosyncratic, flexible concepts such as "one note polyphony", shadows, breathing, and transformation. As Paul Griffiths writes, "he breaths, so to say, from both of his lungs." The concert program features works from throughout Liang's career that illustrate and sonify these conceps, including Ascension, for brass quintet and percussion, and Serashi Fragments, for string quartet, along with Luminous and Lakescape V

                
(pages from Lei Liang's Luminous)

The Lakescape series encapsulates many of Liang's diverse interests. At a Mahayana Buddhist monastery in upstate New York, Liang observed a beaver swimming through a lake's placid surface; this led him to realize, in his words, that "underneath the music I write is a profoundly deep silence upon which I seek to inscribe my signature through sound."

In anticipation of the portrait concert, check out a video from the world premiere of Liang's recent string quartet Song Recollections, performed by the Formosa Quartet: 

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