Whirling Waves (洄瀾) : for Orchestra (2007)


Orchestra Prize for 40th Anniversary Celebration (Taipei Symphony Orchestra), 2009
─  performed by Taipei Symphony Orchestra, June 2009, 40th Anniversary Concert (Taipei, Taiwan)

Program Note:

This musical piece is entitled “Hui-Lan.” Literally, the Chinese character「洄」( pronounced as Hui) means the circling and swirling of waters;「瀾」(pronounced as Lan) means great waves. “Hui-Lan” was the ancient name of Hualien, a county located in the eastern part of Taiwan. The origin of its name was recorded in The History of Hualien County, “East of the Hualien Stream, where the waters flew into the ocean, great waves dashed against one another, forming whirls and surges. So, according to the natural phenomenon, they named the place Hui-Lan.” Later its assonance “Hualien” was used and has continued to be used till today.

Hualien-born and Hualien-bred, the composer chooses “Hui-Lan” (the ancient name of Hualien) to be the title and finds inspiration in it. She attempts to depict, through music, the scene of whirling waves produced when ocean waves and stream waters dash against each other. She extends the meaning of “Hui-Lan” and makes it identical with Hualien by transforming into music many natural elements of Hualien, such as wind blowing, birds chirping, rain dropping, clouds floating, mountain creeks flowing in the gorge, stones and rocks falling, and the Pacific surging. Furthermore, she borrows some melodic fragments (as indicated below) from “You Came,” a famous song composed by Mr. Guo Tze-jiu and familiar to people in Hualien. However, she makes them implicit and obscure through transformation. Applying part of the melody, the composer doesn’t mean to lay stress on the song, but hopes to add to this musical piece some symbolic meaning of humanistic spirit, which can be seen as a tribute to her hometown and to the composers of the preceding generation.you-came此曲曲名「洄瀾」,從字面上解釋,「洄」意為水流盤旋迴轉,「瀾」即為大波浪之意。「洄瀾」一詞是花蓮的古地名,花蓮縣志云:花蓮溪東,注其水與海濤激盪,迂迴澎湃,狀之以其容,故曰洄瀾。後之人諧為花蓮,至今沿襲之。