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From A Dream is a collection of works the Orchid Ensemble commissioned from Canadian composers, with the exception of two arrangements of Chinese music. It showcases an important aspect of the ensemble’s mandate, that is to create new repertoire for our unique cross-cultural instrumentation of erhu/Chinese violin, zheng/Chinese zither, marimba, and percussion.
18th International Independent Music Awards winner:
18th International Independent Music Awards nominee:
“embraces interculturalism….intellectually stimulating yet luxurious listening experience—and a dream vision of what Vancouver could be” – Alex Varty, Georgia Straight, March 11, 2020
From a Dream《夢境》－Dorothy Chang 張彥芸 (2010)
Inspired by various images of China’s Huangshan (“Yellow Mountain”), From a Dream reflects the poetic qualities of this spectacular sight: stillness, strength, delicacy, eternalness. The work contains five main sections, each one loosely representing specific imagery of the mountain, from the dream-like drifting layers of mist and clouds, to its sparkling waterfalls, craggy peaks and ancient pine trees. The opening is quiet, minimal and static, then gradually gathers momentum. The Orchid Ensemble commissioned this piece for its 2011 production “Mountain High River Flow…without end” with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
~ “spiky, cerebral, and appropriately otherworldly” – Georgia Straight
~ “reflects the poetic qualities of this spectacular landscape, by turns evoking in her deftly wrought impressionistic score the stillness, strength, delicacy and resilience of this iconic site” – the Whole Note
Ghosts of the Living 《人間幽冥》－ Farshid Samandari (2008)
This piece depicts characters who breathe, act, and haunt the well-being of others as ghosts. It focuses on paradoxical and ironic dual nature of such beings. Ghosting acts as a function that binds distinct melodic modes and tonal centres to form a composite modal system, it also creates a framework for the polyrhythm. The piece is inspired by the following story by Sa’dī: An unjust king asked a devotee what kind of worship is best? He replied: “For thee the best is to sleep one half of the day so as not to injure the people for a while.”
I saw a tyrant sleeping half the day.
I said: “This confusion, if sleep removes it, so much the better”:
But he whose sleep is better than his wakefulness
Is better dead than leading such a bad life.”
(Gulistan of Sa’dī Edwin Arnold tr.)
The Orchid Ensemble commissioned this piece for its 2008 production “Ghost Project”.
Fire 《火》－ Jin Zhang張進 (2007)
vocals: Jin Zhang, Bic Hoang, Qinglin Bruce Bai, Lan Tung
The piece is inspired by the stories of a major fire that burned Nanaimo Chinatown to the ground in 1960. Fire also represents struggle, hardship and the opportunity for regeneration and rebirth. The Orchid Ensemble commissioned this piece for its 2007 production “Triaspora”.
~ “evokes human struggle, hardship and the opportunity for regeneration: an uplifting theme with which to close to this enjoyable album” – the Whole Note
No Rush 《緩》－ Jin Zhang張進（2000）
Written in three sections, this work is an exploration of contrasts, moving between tenderness and strength, forcefulness and tranquility. The Orchid Ensemble commissioned this piece with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
~ “a kind of contemplative grey shot through with the magical and the unexpected” – Georgia Straight
~ “explores contrasts – though here sourced from within – segueing from tenderness and strength, forcefulness and tranquility” – the Whole Note
Little Stream (Xiao He Tang Shui) – arr. Lan Tung (2010), Chinese folk song 《小河淌水》－董籃 (2010) 改編自雲南民歌 vocal: Lan Tung
The bright moon is rising, 哎，月亮出來亮汪汪
reminding me of my beloved 想起我的阿哥在深山
in the mountains 月亮出來亮汪汪
you are like the moon, 望見月亮想起我的哥
walking above in the sky 哥像月亮天上走
I sing to you by the little stream 山下小河淌水清幽幽
at the foot of the mountains 哥像月亮天上走
do you hear me, my beloved? 你可聽見阿妹叫阿哥
Listening to the Pines (Ting Song) 《聽松》（聽宋）－Hua Yan-jun (1890-1950), Arr. Lan Tung (2004) 華彥君曲，董籃編曲
This piece describes a battle led by the famous general Yue Fei in the Song Dynasty (960AD -1279AD), fighting against the invading Jin (Jurchen) from the north of China. Chased by Yue’s army, the Jin soldiers fled to the foot of a mountain. As they put their ears to the stones on the ground, they felt the rumbling of the Song army’s horses approaching them. In Chinese, “Song” and “Pine” are pronounced very similarly. “Listening to the Pines” actually means to listen to the Song army.
Hua, Yan Jun, also known as A Bing, was a wandering blind musician who left a rich legacy of compositions that have become the “classics” in Chinese music.
Musicians: Lan Tung (erhu, vocal, lower tone erhu), Yu-Chen Wang (zheng), Jonathan Bernard (percussion)
Producer: Jay O’Keeffe
Co- Producers: Lan Tung & Jonathan Bernard
Engineer: Jay O’Keeffe
Assistant: Karl Dicaire & Spencer Carson
Recorded at Profile Sound Studios & Farm Studios, Vancouver
Mixed by Jay O’Keeffe at Blackberry Jam, Madeira Park
Cover Design: Lan Tung
Calligraphy: Li Tung 董籬
Photos: Nenad Stevanovic
Additional Package Design and Booklet Layout: Lee Hutzulak
released in January 2019 with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts