Rituals for Piccolo and Percussion (2011)
Composer: Alan Chan
Publisher: Meridian Publishing LLC
Instrumentation: Piccolo and Percussion
I. Lion Dance (or Dragon Dance)
II. Making Mocha, Two Geese
The idea of Rituals came about in 2007, when Dr. Angela Rowland, a founding member of the Macau Chamber Orchestra in Macau, proposed an idea to write a piece for piccolo and percussion inspired by the popular Chinese lion dance. I adopted the idea, and incorporate other urban scenes that I have encountered in New York City, to create this three-movement piece. Rituals was commissioned by the Walden School, for the Firebird Ensemble, Boston.
Requires the following percussion: small slide whistle, domestic ceramic cup, woodblock (medium), brake drum, flexaton, small Beijing gong, cowbell, bongos (2), hi-hat, snare drum, kick drum
I. Lion Dance (or Dragon Dance) is a ceremonial ritual which are often performed in Chinese New Year's time and civil ceremonies. It involves a loud percussion section and dancers with elaborated costume. Although this is usually done only with drums and percussion, the piccolo part represents the excitements from the crowd.
II. Making Mocha, Two Geese consists of two parts, which deals with two urban scenarios that the composer found hilarious and wanted to incorporate them into the music. Making Mocha involves the stirring of the chocolate syrup and espresso, with a “background” of a classical-style melody. It is followed by Two Geese at the Riverside Park in Manhattan echoing each other, by using imitative passages between the piccolo and snare-brake drum combo.
III. Discotheque is groove-based and it refers to the hip-hop style in Jazz and music from Pop culture, in the idiomatic perspective of this piccolo-percussion setting.