I will be closing a concert hosted by my good friend and excellent violist Pedro Vallejos, at CULTUREfix, New York City (click on the link for directions). Concert starts at 7:30pm. Pedro and I will be performing my Return to Venezia. Included below are the program notes for the piece (there will be no program notes at the concert for environmental reasons).
Composed in the Spring of 2012, ‘Return to Venezia’ is a historical, political sonic portrait of the colonial history of Hong Kong and South East Asia: of its antiquity, the emerging Western colonial network four hundred years ago, and the dominance of Western powers coming to Asia.
The opening melody is a reference to the opening of Franz Liszt’s piano piece ‘Richard Wagner – Venezia’, from which the composer received his initial inspiration. Its rising and falling figures, as well as its juxtaposition of haunting and triumphant sonorities are representative of a gondola’s passage within Venice, and by extension, Marco Polo’s travels to Asia in the 13th century. From here, the piece explores impressions of the faces of Asia and the arrival of Europe to its shores.
Having grown up in both colonial and post-colonial Hong Kong, the composer explores his inner estrangement from a homeland he once knew; while in doing so paying tribute to his parents’ Western and Asian heritage. All in all, ‘Return to Venezia’ is a homage to the memories of a place very personal to the composer which once existed, to be gradually lost in the memory of our time.