NZTrio was joined in September 2016 by guzheng virtuoso Xia Jing for a concert of traditional and specially commissioned works. Below are Resound films of new works by New Zealand composers Jeroen Speak, Dylan Lardelli, Dorothy Ker and Gao Ping.

This concert, from Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music's Adam Concert Room, was co-presented by the Confucius Institute and the China Cultural Centre in New Zealand. Audio is provided by our Resound partner, RNZ Concert. Resound is funded by NZ On Air.

Jeroen Speak: Serendipity Fields

London-based Jeroen Speak holds a PhD in composition from the University of Sussex. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Irino prize (1998) and the Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize (1992). Speak has been featured and commissioned by many international festivals, and has been broadcast and performed worldwide with some of today's most exciting musicians from around the globe.

"At its heart, this is a reworking of several earlier works, though recomposed for this new ensemble. The guzheng (and its ancient predecessor gu qin) have interested me ever since my first visits to China, and many works from this period use ideas generated from the instrument, most notably the traditional notation system (wen zi pu) which was used as early as the 10th century. The title alludes to the many overlaps between the guzheng and the first works I composed, particularly on the gestural level, which enable these instruments to work together seamlessly." 

Dylan Lardelli: Shells

PictureDylan Lardelli holds degrees in Guitar Performance and Composition from Victoria University of Wellington and has studied with Stefano Bellon in Venice and Dieter Mack at the Lübeck Musikhochschule in Germany. He is the recipient of many scholarships and awards including first place for his piece Four Fragments in the Asian Composers League Young Composers' Competition, Tokyo. Dylan's music has been performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America and by many notable musicians and ensembles. Recently he was an artist in residence at the Tokyo Wonder Site.

"Shells presents a performance world where the gestures and actions of the musicians have largely been emptied of sound content. This produces and intentional distant sound world, where the semblance of musical shapes wash between strong block-like interruptions."

Dorothy Ker: String Taxonomy

Dorothy Ker studied at Auckland University in the early 1980s. She departed to the UK in 1992, where she studied with Nicola LeFanu and Harrison Birtwhistle, completing a PhD at York University in 1998. Her studies were followed by research fellowships at Reading University (2001–2004) and Sheffield University (2005–2010), where she is currently Senior Lecturer in Composition and Director of Research in the Department of Music. Her solo CD diffracted terrains: Chamber Music of Dorothy Ker was released to critical acclaim by the London-based ensemble Lontano in 2007 and her output includes a number of collaborations with leading contemporary music soloists. Her piano trio Onaia was co-commissioned by NZTrio and Fidelio Trio in 2015. Dorothy was also Visiting Scholar at Victoria University of Wellington (2013–2015), a keynote speaker at the Composing Now conference in 2014, and the CANZ Trust Fund awardee in 2015.

"A sonic alchemy amongst the four instruments emerges through shared gestures, so that bowing, plucking, striking and bending are no longer what distinguishes them. Research for the piece has taken place in collaboration with Dr. Shu Jiand, a guzheng player based at Sheffield University."

Gao Ping: Feng Zheng

i. Still Clouds
ii. The Breeze
iii. Breaking the Air
iv. Broken Line

2016 NZTrio commission with funding from the Creative New Zealand Asia/New Zealand Co-Commissioning Fund.

Gao Ping is a pianist-composer, born in Sichuan province, known for evocative textures and piano vocalisation. He studied in the USA and his work is commissioned and performed around the world.

The Chinese invented the kite. Being made of paper and resembling the shape of a hawk, it was originally called "the paper hawk". In ancient times, a bamboo tube was installed at the tail of the kite which made a Zheng-like sound when wind passed through it. Therefore, it is also called Feng Zheng (Wing Zheng). Kites used to be flown often in the Qingming festival – a time when the Chinese pay respect to their deceased. The kite carries their best wishes to the dead. The spiritual yearning combined with the rigorous physical activity gives kite-flying a feeling of tenderness that is also robust and healthy.

"My wind zheng is dedicated to a dear friend who is no longer with us, Jack Body, the great New Zealand composer. I have entrusted my emotions for Jack to the wings and sounds of the kite. A motive made of Jack's name (jACk BoDy) appears in the beginning and the end of the piece. Is it possible that Jack would meet my free drifting kite somewhere?"



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