Stephen Yip: By the Lotus Pond

Stephen Yip, born in Hong Kong and now living in U.S.A., received his doctor of musical arts (D.M.A.) at Rice University and bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  His works have been performed in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Israel, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines.  He has received several composition prizes, included Earplay, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, the Taiwan Music Center International Composition Prize, the Robert Avalon International Prize, the Singapore International Composition Competition for Chinese Orchestra, the Haifa International Composition Prize, the ALEA III composition Competition, and the fourth NACUSA Texas Composition Competition. His works have been performed by major ensembles and players such as Alarm Will Sound, Earplay New Music, Mivos String Quartet, New York New Music Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, North South Consonance, Brno Philharmonc Orchestra, inFLUX Duo, Windpipe Chinese Orchestra, Little Giant Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Curious Chamber Players, TIMF Ensemble, Ensemble El Perro Andaluz, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and Avanti. Yip’s works have been recorded on the ERM-Media, PARMA, Capstone, North South recording, Ablaze records, ATMA Classique, and Beauport Classical labels.  Yip is a member of the SCI, NACUSA, and ASCAP. Currently, he is on the music faculty at Houston Community College and works as a freelance composer.

By the Lotus Pond (2010) was composed for and dedicated to Wuji (ruan) 阮 Ensemble.  The composer visited the four lotus ponds at the “Chi Nin Temple” at Diamond Hill, Hong Kong and he enjoys and likes to spend his leisure time to promenade at park.  In this piece, he imagines the lotus living in the pond and the border between the lotus’s life and human’s life.  In the lotus’s world, lotuses chats to each other, sing and dance in the wind.  Actually, humans can be able to hear and sense the lotus’s world as they can cover their ears in a distant space somewhere far way from the city’s hustle and bustle. The composer used limited aleatoric techniques and traditional “measured” notations in this piece to demonstrate the freedom of the living lotus.  Through the entire piece, players need to sing and play at the same time.  The singing sound in this piece is influenced by “Peking opera” style. And there are four main sections with different names: 1. Lotus; 2. Leaves; 3. Purity and Clarity; and 4. Sonority.  All four sections are linked together and are played without pauses or breaks. 

Stephen Yip: By the Lotus Pond
performed by the Wuji Ensemble
during the “Zen & Qin As One” Concert
at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium
23 November 2013