Xi Shui Yuan Yang《戲水鴛鴦》(2017)－
String orchestra 弦樂團
Commissioned by Hong Kong Chordophonia
Composer: Luk Wai Chun
Peformer: Hong Kong Chordophonia
“Yuanyang Xi Shui (Two Mandarin ducks playing in water)”, an ancient Chinese idiom originated from a kind of perching duck“Yuanyang”(Mandarin duck) that always appear in pairs, chasing as well as playing in the water, describes such habits of the pair of ducks and implies the romantic love of a couple. As “Yuanyang” had always been used in ancient poetry to praise the enviable love of a couple, for example, the highly-delighted verse from "Chang-an Gu Yi" by a Tang poet Lu Zhaolin (637-689) “Were we mandarin ducks, being immortal we wouldn't extol"^, “Xi Shui Yuanyang” serves both as the title of this piece of music and a metaphor of a couple in an enviable love and harmony. Composer uses this music to show the intimacy relationship, the enviable love and some brickering moments of a couple(Yuanyang), thus hopes to bring out the idea that small quarrels between lovers can also be the sublimation of love catalyst like yuanyang playing in the water.
In this piece, dialogues between instruments represent the interaction of the couple and stimulates the audience to imagine themselves listening to a radio drama. Furthermore, there is an improvisational section of the solo violin and solo cello which imitate the interaction between the couple from flirting to arguing using the vocal style of Cantonese Opera - Nianbai.
In music, Composer added the feeling (happiness, lively) and musical elements of Guangdong music to create the happy atmosphere, thus musical elements of Cantonese Opera are also involved, e.g. Luogu (Chinese percussion part) and Nianbai (Stage speech). Also, there are several musical passages which imitates the sound of splashing water by Yuanyang flapping wings.