The Whampoa Overture (2014)
For String Orchestra
ca. 5 minute
(4,4,3,2,1, or larger)
Dedicated to Barbara Day Turner & San Jose Chamber Orchestra
Winner of Allen Strange Memorial Composition Contest 2014
Premiered by San Jose Chamber Orchestra on June 1, 2014
The Whampoa is a ship-shaped shopping center building located in Whampoa Garden, Hong Kong. This landmark was opened in 1991, just one year before I was born. I have lived in the neighborhood since I was only a few months old, walking by the building everyday for more than a decade. Even till this day, I would visit the area every time I travel back to the city. Much like a musical overture, The Whampoa was an opening of my life.
Although this “ship” is crystalized at a single location, it certainly sails through time with me. The beginning section of the music portrays the sublimity of the architecture, particularly recalling the times when I was still in primary school. As a youngster, surrounding objects appeared to be more gorgeous and powerful than reality. This sense of naiveness is certainly lost as I grew up. The place also capsulated joyous childhood memories of mine, suggested by the rhythmic and playful music in the contrasting section. With the magnitude of emotions attached to the place, the recapitulation of the first theme symbolizes the revisiting of memories. These glimpses, however, slip away quickly for the “ship” must sail along, and that the future arrives sooner than our expectations.