Music has no boundaries – this is a certainty! With technology, the world has become more connected. We are able to explore and learn about different cultures and with this, new sounds! Since I published “Playing Erhu – Bridging the Gap” in 2011, I am still amazed at the interest world-wide in learning the erhu.

Sharing music is one of my passions. With the erhu instruction book, it helped people overcome the barrier of language. My latest fun project is the erhu design for t-shirts (if it works out, I will have other world instruments too!).

Another project that I am working on is introducing new music for Chinese instruments and ensembles, the composers, the programme notes, and the video recordings – in English! There are so many amazing works out there, but again, there is the language barrier. Many thanks to my translators, Karwah Chan and Anthony Ko for their time and efforts. I will be working with Dr. Chih-Sheng Chen from Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra on this project. Little by little, we will make this wonderful music more accessible to English readers. I will post these translations in “Bridges”.

Here is the first piece that we did:

樂團/小巨人絲竹樂團 天鼓擊樂團 指揮/陳志昇 二胡/段皑皑 作曲/劉長遠 2012.7.21 兩岸薪傳系列 夢 地點/台灣.台北市.國家音樂廳 Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra Conductor/Chen Chih-Sheng Venue/National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan


LIU Changyuan, “Dreamscapes” Erhu Concerto, DUAN Aiai with Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra and Tien-Ku Percussion Group, conducted by CHEN Chih-Sheng, National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, 2012.7.21.

This erhu piece was commissioned in 2011 by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra. The title “Dreamscapes” can be interpreted in two ways: exposing the mystery of the different forms of dreams, or giving meaning to these dream phenomena, through music. The entire work is divided into ten movements, to be played continuously, each describing a different dreamscape.
I. Musing Dream: memories returning in a dream;
II. Jubilant Dream: full of happiness;
III. Heartsick Dream: nostalgic yearning for one’s lover;
IV. Frightening Dream: the dream of fear and dread;
V. Struggling Dream: fighting to be freed from life’s powerful constraints, with loud cries;
VI. Melancholic Dream: the dream of sorrow, tears and sighs;
VII.Fantasy Dream: fantasy in a dream;
VIII.Lamenting Dream: sighing about the weariness of life;
IX. Leaping Dream: lively, and leaping in joy;
X. Half Dreaming: in a trance, but starting to awaken..?
(trans: KW Chan/A Ko/P Chan)