Mountain Sacrifice No. 2

In Mountain Yak in the Southwest of China resides Minority Pu Mi, the villagers there worship their Mountain God - Suo Guo Na Ba. They believe among all the gods, Mountain God is the most respectable and can dominate everything. Every July 15th in lunar calendar, the whole Pu Mi people start their annual worship ritual of Suo Guo Na Ba. They circle a “Sacred Forest” as the site of the rite and choose the strongest bull as the sacrifice, then necromancer will pray to Suo Guo Na Ba for blessing all the villagers peace, health and a good crop harvest. Inspired by this custom, this piece describes the sacrifice rituals of Pu Mi. Many instruments are considered first as utensils of rites, acting as a communication bridge between the villagers and Mountain God. Sonorous fanfare by brass instruments, vehement rhythms by percussion instruments especially the drums, play an important role to summon the god spirit, spread decree, and announce the ceremony. Mountain Sacrifice No. 2 is also influenced by unique crying tune of Pu Mi, which is a style of rubato melodies without rhythm limitation. The freestyle-type of the rhythm leaves more space to make my music breathe. The numerous glissandos in this piece express Pu Mi people’s feelings during worship, in which I find human beings’ true emotion could be interpreted similarly. The pizzicato in strings imitates some plucking instruments of Pu Mi, which is closely associated with their life.

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ACO Performances

16th Underwood New Music Readings (2007)

May 8, 2007 9:00 am
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

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