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Music of I Ching


I Ching(Book of Changes) among of few oldest ancient Chinese classics, it was firstly introduced with few graphics drew by FuXi which later named ‘Bagua’, translated as ‘earlier heaven’; Bagua consisted of eight elements that symbolize formations and changes of the world, Bagua later developed to 64 hexagrams. Later during Zhou dynasty, King Wen introduced ‘later heaven’, he written texts and quotes attached to each hexagram, which then became the main document ‘I Ching’, as the most retainable book which called “Zhou I” among other two books. The other two “Guicang” and “Lianshan” were eventually lost (‘Han’ dynasty did not record either of those in history so people thought they were probably lost even before ‘Han’ dynasty). 


Later on, during the later spring and autumn period, Confucius and his students recorded series of commentaries known as the “ten wings’. Ten Wings are the supportive translations of the I Ching, I Ching had been used to explain, observe the changes of the phenomenon of the nature, earth, and humanity teachings; on the other hand, divination was only a small branch of I Ching, it had also been used in enormous fields: philosophy, cosmology, medical studying, morality, and a lot of others… 

In this album, I used the coin tosses and numeral divination to determine the structures, contents, playing techniques, elements, time length, density, intricateness, etc. There are two main parts in this album: firstly consists of the changes of Bagua, eight elements with eight performers, using coin tosses to divine the changes of the motions of the music, with graphics; the last track was solo prepared piano, using numeral divination (the numbers were transposed from one small section of quotes from Cage’s book ‘Silence’) to determine the prepared materials, notes, playing techniques, time length, silence, and etc. 


在這張專輯裡,我使用了金錢卦和數字卦的卜筮方式來占卜整個曲子結構、內容、技巧、元素、時間點、聲響上的密度、以及錯綜復雜的結果等等⋯ 整張專輯分為兩個部分,一大部分為八人(八卦)形成天地人之間的變化,藉由金錢卦的方式占卜出曲子的變化和錯綜復雜的未來變化,以圖形譜、元素、時間結構、演奏技巧等等的方式完成這整個作品。另一部分是加料(預置)鋼琴,以數字掛來決定,數字從John Cage的書”Silence”中的其中一篇擷取出來的句子轉變為運用的數字,預置於鋼琴內的材料、圖形(卦象)、演奏技巧、時間點、沈默等等都是由占卜出來的結果。


            Music of I Ching was influenced by the concept of Indeterminacy from John Cage; Cage was a pioneer of using the chance operations to his composition. In this album, track 1-4 consists of an ensemble of eight performers, the scores were composed/written originally by Shinya Lin, with graphical structure, following certain assigned time length; with game-piece-liked instruction and selection; with written playing techniques(in selective boxes) where still leave free-interpretation for performers; There are total of eight characters from ‘the earlier heaven, FuXi Bagua’: Heaven, Earth, Thunder, Water, Mountain, Wind, Flame, Lake(In English translation of symbols might only have one or several meanings, but originally from Chinese, one character could have tremendous amount of meanings depended on various contexts), each character was assigned to each performer by using coin tosses(金錢掛). The title of tracks were the results we got from the coin tosses.

“At random(interlude)” was a solo prepared piano piece composed using I Ching to determine the contents (techniques, density, prepared materials, etc) and the overall structure of the whole piece, the theme and title were from an excerpt of quotes in pg.64 of the book "Silence" by Cage, the quotes were transposed to numbers, then went through numeral divination resulting in elements of the Bagua.


Piano/Prompter - Shinya Lin

Alto sax 1 - Ryan Siegel

Alto sax 2- Katie Webster

Bass clarinet - Arjan Singh

Violin – Myra Choo

Cello - YiMing Hsu

Guitar – Iñigo Fúster

Bass – Evan Palmer


Engineering – Joshua Lu

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