Fiat Lux: for orchestra (2021)

performed by TNUA Orchestra 北藝大管絃樂團 (Shao-Chia Lü 呂紹嘉, cond.) 

Program Note:

“Fiat Lux” is Latin for “Let there be light,” a quote from the book of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. My alma mater, University of California, takes “Fiat Lux” as its school motto, implying its duty of bringing new knowledge to light and illuminating solutions for bettering the human condition. Either on the concrete or on the symbolic level, light is an indispensable existence in our daily life.

In this piece, I manipulate various instrumental sounds, especially the harmonics of string instruments and the resonances of metal percussion instruments, attempting to represent the static light and the dynamic light which have diverse hues and gestures: momentary flashes of the sunrise twilight, obscure glimmer emerging in darkness, fluorescent glowing of fireflies in the summer night’s valley, illusive starlight twinkling in the sky, bright neon lights in the sleepless city, brilliant flames of the countdown fireworks show.

In 2019, I returned from the U.S. to Taiwan and luckily enough became a faculty member of another alma mater, National Taipei University of the Arts. I can still recall my professor of Western music history told us how Beethoven “went through darkness and moved forward to the light” in his Symphony No. 5. I would like to dedicate this work to these two alma maters of mine, expecting myself to serve as a medium to transmit conscientiously the light of knowledge and music.

樂曲解說:

「Fiat Lux」是拉丁文,英譯為「Let There Be Light」(意為「要有光」)。這句話出自《創世紀》,也是我的母校美國加州大學(University of California)的校訓,隱含著大學傳播知識之光的使命。無論就具體或象徵的意涵而言,「光」在我們的日常生活中都是不可或缺的存在。

在此曲中,我運用管弦樂團各樂器可能產生的聲響變化——特別是弦樂泛音與金屬擊樂器殘響——透過聲部線條的交錯層疊,以及音色的混合或銜接,試圖展現擁有不同色澤樣貌、靜態與動態的「光」:可能是瞬間乍現的日出曙光,可能是從黑暗中逐漸浮現的曖曖微光;可能是夏夜山谷螢火蟲的點點螢光,可能是夜空滿天閃爍的迷幻星光;可能是不夜城的霓虹燈光,也可能是跨年煙火的絢爛火光。

2019年,我從美國回到台灣後,有幸重返我另一所母校北藝大任教。我仍記得大學時在西洋音樂史課堂上,劉岠渭老師手舞足蹈地講解貝多芬的《命運交響曲》,告訴我們作曲家是如何透過他的音樂「穿越黑暗,迎向光明」。我欲以〈Fiat Lux〉向我的兩個母校致意,同時也期許自己,盼望知識與藝術之光能夠無盡傳播。


© Lily Chen. All rights reserved.