INK AND PAPER (PAINTINGS AT THE CHINESE EXHIBITION) FOR SOLO PIANO (2014)
Instrumentation: solo piano
Commissioner: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Art Museum
December 13, 2014. "Open Books" Chinese Art Exhibition, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
May 28, 2015. Meilina Tsui's B.A. Graduation Recital, Chinese University of Hong Kong
May 22, 2016. Residence of the Director General of Hong Kong, Economic and Trade Office, London.
March 25, 2017. 10th Anniversary Celebration, Renaissance College Hong Kong.
Florida State University Libraries: An Annotated Catalogue and Guide to the Piano Solo Repertoire of Contemporary Asian Women Composers from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, April 16, 2019.
Ink and Paper (Paintings at the Chinese Exhibition) (2014) is a dynamic piano piece written in the style of traditional Chinese music. The constant changes of thematic material, character, and its keyboard register and texture epitomize the act of observing different paintings at the exhibition. The various themes are all drawn from the composer’s childhood encounters with the Chinese ancient history, folklore and myths. Inspired by the images of Chinese palaces on high mountains in the midst of drifting clouds, the music sets a majestic and solemn tone at the beginning of the piece. The character then changes into a lurking and sinister one as clouds gather to blur one’s vision. As the mist clears, temples from far away become visible, and one can hear distant chimes ringing... The piece undergoes a major transition when it evolves into a whirling cascade of Gu Zheng-imitating passages and culminates into a surprisingly giddy and exuberant Chinese folk dance. The catchy and uplifting qualities of the folk-like tune, written in simple texture, make this part of the piece especially distinctive. The mood intensifies significantly as the scene enters a battlefield, characterized by the powerful pulsating octaves ostinati in the lower register. After an exhilarating and colorful musical journey the piece finally comes to a declamatory ending, building a thematic ark with the opening.
-- Meilina Tsui