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Lei Liang

Six Seasons

for any number of improvising musicians and pre-recorded sounds

(2022)
Durationca. 15-80 mins.
PremiereOctober 15, 2022; The Experimental Theater, Conrad Prebys Music Center, University of California, San Diego; Mivos Quartet • Olivia De Prato, Maya Bennardo, Victor Lowrie Tafoya, Tyler J. Borden
PublisherSchott Music

Media

Program Note

The Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska, is one of the most inaccessible places to humans on earth. Six seasons in the Arctic, according to Inuit, are not demarcated by a fixed calendar, but by patterns we can hear in the environment. 

Hydrophones, designed at the Whale Acoustics Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, were placed about 300 meters below the sea surface at a seafloor recording location 160 km north of Utqiagvik, Alaska. They captured the sound of sea ice, marine mammals, and the underwater environment throughout an entire year. 

These sounds call for a different way of listening, challenging our temporal and spatial orientations. Our ocean is dynamic, unpredictable, and full of incredibly complex sounds – including sounds humans cannot perceive – and sounds that are vital for the survival of marine animals. Increasingly, these sounds are drowned out by anthropogenic noises including industrial activities and passing ships. Today, we can no longer presume any empathy with the ocean merely from the comfort and the fixed perspective of a beach chair: our oceans are in crisis. 

Many marine mammals use echolocation to navigate in their living environment. We humans are not endowed to echolocate in the same way, but metaphorically, we do. The practice of sending out a “signal” and listening for its enriched “echoes” underlines musicking, reading, interpreting, and communication in general. 

Six Seasons mirrors echolocation: “call” and “echo.” The “call” is the pre-recorded sounds that I describe as “the living score” that function as interactive modules; the “echo” is the improvising musicians’ creative response, intertwined with the original signal. Just as ice and wildlife are the “living score” that Inuit set their lives to, the musicians’ role is as much about listening as about responding creatively to the pre-recorded sounds with their instruments. 

Our journey begins on October 29, 2015, just three days after new sea ice had started to form at the listening site: the birth of ice.

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The “living score” itself contains the key to its own realization. The score – the pre-recorded sounds – are sound files in six categories, grouped by seasons as described by Inuit, the native people of the Arctic. A “season” is about what we hear in the environment. They are not demarcated by a fixed calendar date, but by the changing conditions – many of which are audible – of the environment. Just as ice is the “living score” that Inuit set their lives to, the musicians’ role is as much about listening as about responding creatively to these pre-recorded sounds with their instruments. The performers who are involved in shaping the work are indispensable in the realization of the piece.

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Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Print)

Choral Score (includes 4 copies) (Print)

Anthology edition (Print)

Full Score in 3 volumes (Print)

Choral Booklet (Print)

Choral Booklet (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Performance Score (includes 4 scores) (Print)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (6 scores required for performance) (Digital)

solo part and piano reduction (Print)

solo part and piano reduction (Digital)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

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Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

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Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Study Score (print) (Digital)

Study Score (print) (Print)

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

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A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)