Moonless Night (2012)
for Erhu and Piano
Written for Corey Hamm and Nicole Ge Li.
Pianist Corey Hamm has joined forces with Erhuist, Nicole Ge Li in an exciting project that will see the premiere of twenty new pieces by January 2014. Those pieces will then be recorded and toured across Canada and China in Spring of 2014. I was thrilled to be one of the first composers Corey asked to join this project. Moonless Night was an amazing project to work on, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with Nicole. The erhu is a gorgeous instrument, and not one that western classical composers often get to write for.
When I showed a draft of the piece to Nicole and described the opening section as a sleepless night, she shared with me the importance of the moon in Chinese culture, and a title was born. Reflecting on moon imagery in erhu repertoire, the move to include quotations from Liú Tiānhuá's Moon Night was a welcomed addition.
Here is the program note for the world premiere:
The sun sustains us through the evening, and long after its last rays have dissipated. It keeps us moving forward, looking forward.
In the hours before slumber, the moon slows our forward momentum. Dulling the stresses of waking hours, the cool light reflects on the day from a different angle.
But what happens when we go right from daylight to sleep, without the moon's repose.
Lying in bed, tormented by restless ruminations, there is no sleep on a moonless night.