Whence Hilarity II (2017 to 2019)
Composer: Xue Han
Pour quatuor de saxophones

何处狂欢 - Whence Hilarity II

In Whence Hilarity II, the sound image is prolonged throughout the phrase trajectory. A pale and indifferent core theme - as if a serene song of Sheng (a Chinese traditional instrument) sung from a distant place - is settled in every phrase. Each phrase reveals the core upon different timbral and dynamic perspectives. With the idea of non-repetitive repetition, the composer expects to measure the space and distance within a monotonous tune. The exploration of exaggerating several objective sonic parameters in order to realize the narrativity for the work plays a significant role to the piece’s structure. The work pertains to the composition series of Whence Hilarity*. The series was originally inspired by an excerpt of Oscar Wilde’s poetry**. Each work in this series is intended to explore respectively the relationships between sound and space, the timbral nuances within homogeneous instruments, and the potential of “verbalizing” instruments.

* Whence Hilarity I (2015) - for 3 musicians, 2 narrators (with portable speakers), plus a solo dancer ad lib. Whence Hilarity III (2017) - string quartet.

** Some love too little, some too long,

Some sell, and others buy; S

ome do the deed with many tears,

And some without a sigh:

For each man kills the thing he loves,

Yet each man does not die.

— The Balad of Reading Gaol