(Commissioned by violinist Patrick T.S. Yim)
September 13, 2019 at the Recital Hall of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR (World Premiere Performance)
thunder shakes the earth, mountains bind the sky (2019)
The Yijing (or I-Ching) is an ancient Classic text often associated with Confucianism and
other systems of belief. Central to the Yijing is the idea that all aspects of the world
(humanity, nature, the cosmos) are organically linked through a perpetually renewing, self-generating process of change.
thunder shakes the earth, mountains bind the sky focuses on two symmetrically opposed
hexagrams from the Yijing, (shake) and (bound), as central, generative images for the
music. Thunder/shaking (transient, unstable) vs. mountains/binding (stable, eternal), as
well as Earth (enduring, below) and sky (mutable, above). The inherent reflection of the
images provides impetus for the initial musical oppositions in the piece.
Music in two states is presented at the outset of the piece in the very slow/high 1st violin
and the mercurial/low 2nd violin. Forces of change applied to both types of music force
each to become more like the other in some fashion, eventually revealing that they are both part of the same cycle of transformation. Many thanks to Patrick Yim and Yinbin Qian for proposing and premiering this piece. – Christopher Wendell Jones
About Christopher Wendell JONES
Christopher Wendell Jones is a composer of intricately designed music that explores
issues of identity, memory and time in distinctive, unconventional ways. Jones' music has been performed nationally and internationally at venues including Merkin Hall in New York, the International Gugak Workshop in Seoul, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse in Germany, and the Ictus International Composition Seminar in Brussels. He has collaborated with a broad range of artists such as the U. C. Berkeley Symphony, sfSound, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Callithumpian Consort, and has received commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation and the American Composers Forum. Jones currently resides in Chicago, where he is an Associate Professor and Director of Composition and Musicianship at DePaul University.