66 Times
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An aesthetic shaped by the composer's Chinese heritage and training in Western art music.

The art-music composer of today faces many challenges. On the one hand, one is tempted to create music that embraces a diversity of styles. On the other hand, one hopes to develop a personal language that would reflect one's artistic orientation and at the same time communicate effectively with the audience. This issue is of particular relevance to composers who grew up in non-Western cultures. Their music, to some extent, manifests their struggle to mediate between Western music and music of their own culture. Shih-Hui Chen is one example. Having grown up in Taiwan and having her basic musical training there, her works have been influenced by traditional Chinese as well as Western concert music. Over the years Chen has become adept in the compositional language of Western music. She earned a doctoral degree from Boston University while continuing her education in the United States. A prolific composer, she has written for a wide range of genres, including solo, chamber, orchestral and film music. The five works featured on this CD cover a broad span of time (1999-2003), and reflect a developing aesthetic. This music summarizes Chen's development and comes out of a desire to create works that assimilate her Chinese heritage and her training in Western art music. Like the interaction between yin and yang, these two opposing yet complementary forces continue to shape Chen's aesthetic and her music, resulting in music that explores the representation of "Chineseness" within predominantly Western compositional frameworks.
Shih-Hui Chen, composer
66 Times: the Voice of Pines and Cedars
Elizabth Weigle, soprano, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor

Shih-Hui Chen, composer
Fu I
Wu Man, pipa

Shih-Hui Chen, composer
Twice Removed
Min-Ho Yeh, clarinet

Shih-Hui Chen, composer
Wu Man, pipa, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor

Shih-Hui Chen, composer
The Fischer Duo

"...it completely blurs the line between traditional Chinese music and contemporary American composition." (NewMusicBox)

"Ms. Chen avoids avant-gardism for its own sake and instead chooses to blend her Asian heritage with some good old-fashioned Western musicality...I look forward to hearing whether she continues in this direction." (American Record Guide)
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