The inspiration for Spheres of Influence comes from the idea that our identity is in part formed by those around us. As individuals, our actions and decisions are often determined by how we were raised, the culture we grew up in, and the influence of our friends. As parents, we hope our words will have lasting effects, to guide our children even when they are out of our sight and we are out of their minds. As artists, we are influenced by our teachers, and their teachers, and master artists from the distant past as well as living artists around us today. Some of these influences can be directly found; others are within our subconscious.
Spheres of Influence is a single movement work in three sections. The musical ideas influence one another, and the various combinations, or “spheres” of instruments - various solos, duos, and trios, influence the remaining instruments. This work also owes as a source of inspiration the music of Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Copland, Stravinsky, among others. As an Asian-American composer, music of both my cultures are present as well. Spheres of Influence begins with a anticipatory fanfare growing organically out of a single pitch. The middle section features longing melodies on various instruments representing the eventual parting between a parent and a child. The third section is relaxed, as one needs to “let go” and trust that the positive influence we have had will flourish in those around us. Throughout the work motives reoccur and are reconfigured, influencing other sections of the piece.
Spheres of Influence commissioned by the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Timothy Christie, Founder and Artistic Director, for its sixth season. The premiere was performed by Stephen Miahky and Christina McGann violins; Julia Salerno and Timothy Christie, violas; and Felix Wang and Norbert Lewandowski, violoncelli on June 11, 2013.
- string sextet