Lament 悲歌

for Solo Bassoon (2017)

Michael Harley, Bassoon; Catherine Chi, Video Art

Commissioned and premiered by Bassoonist Mike Harley, this work was composed between 2016-2017 and inspired by a poem from the anonymous late Ming novel Jin Ping Mei. The poem is selected from the novel’s chapter 5, which is a lament of Wu Dalang, the deceased husband of the novel’s central character Golden Lily. He was poisoned by Lily and their neighbor Granny Wang and expresses his feelings of excruciation and hopelessness in the song. As with a few other solo works of mine, I would like to explore the vocal possibilities of acoustic instruments such as the bassoon and utilize unconventional techniques such as singing while playing and extensive glissandi and vibratos in order to achieve this goal.

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Duration:

c. 12 minutes

Instrumentation:

bassoon

Premiere:

Premiered by Michael Harley, Bassoon

Commissioner:

Commissioned by Michael Harley, Bassoon.