The Weaving Maiden by Chan Ka Nin (Sample 28) by Soundstreams published on 2012/12/13 13:54:38 +0000 The story of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, a tale of two forbidden lovers who are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month over the wings of magpies, is well known in Chinese folklore. Composer Chan Ka Nin, librettist Mark Brownell, and Soundstreams’ Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney had the idea of telling this story as an oratorio with spoken narration. Since the Weaving Maiden is from heaven and the Cowherd is of the world below, the music embodies the division between the celestial and the earthly. Gentle clusters of female choristers evoke the eternal voice of heaven, while the male chorus provides such more mundane elements as the mooing of the Cowherd’s cattle. In its marriage of choral sounds with traditional Chinese instruments, the music itself creates a world in which the two lovers may live together. This work was premiered at the 'The Weaving Maiden and Other Tales' concert presented by Soundstreams on February 16, 2006 at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto (Canada). Instrumentation: Mixed choir (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), narrator, dizi, pipa, yangqin, guzheng, percussion, erhu and gehu.