Showing posts with label YIJU 移居. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YIJU 移居. Show all posts

YIJU 移居

“An orrery of memory, an attempt to chart the composer's recollections and speculations about his musician grandfather who emigrated from China in the 1930s. What kind of music might they have made together?” —Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger

Audio Excerpts

available at Amazon | CD Baby | iTunes

Songs of Dislocation
A vast number of Chinese – more than 40 million – live outside of their ancestral homeland. In North America, the influx of this diaspora is mixing and adapting its cultural heritage in New York (665,714), San Francisco (562,355), Toronto (486,300) and Vancouver (402,000).

With “Yiju,” Mandarin for “to migrate,” Present Sounds Recordings and composer Byron Au Yong offer an album of music both intimate and cinematic, humorous and contemplative, combining Au Yong’s broken musical lineage with a nod to the avant garde. “As the only composer in a family of overseas Chinese, it is with regret that I never studied music with my grandfather," he says.

“On this album, I devoted myself to assembling songs of dislocation – of memory and imagination. I hope listeners find moments to laugh, as well as reflect about migration, travel and their relationship to China.”

Selected track insights
  • Daughter 女儿: “My grandparents fled China in 1938, leaving my first aunt. I wonder what lullaby my grandmother would have sung to the daughter they left behind.”
  • Two Knives 两把刀: “In the 1940s, my grandfather was captured by Japanese soldiers. He pretended to be a farmer and joked with the soldiers until he was able to escape. They would have killed him if they knew he started the first Chinese school in the Mindanao Mountains of the Philippines.”
  • A Man Is Falling 摔倒的人: “I used to think that migration was horizontal. After 9/11, I began to think of migration as vertical – of ancestors falling through the sky and landing on unsuspecting progeny. The news rarely covers family stories turned on their heads.”

Praise for ‘Yiju’
“Yiju is at times haunting and at times a rich cacophony of textures and emotion. It’s music for quiet, contemplative time. Each time I listen I hear something new.”
– Mary Coss, artist

“I don't know of any other contemporary work that both embraces and subverts its sentimentality to such compelling effect. I loved the way it unfolded, song by song, with each new piece catching me off guard, even as it evolved its themes and motifs.”
– Aaron Landsman, playwright
Creative team
“Yiju 移居,” Byron Au Yong’s fourth album, features performances by musicians Karen Akada, Au Yong, Marc Collins, Marc delaCruz, Jessika Kenney, Gina Sala, Aiko Shimada and James Whetzel singing and playing er-hu (Chinese fiddle), string bass, drums, paper, chopsticks, cymbals and water gongs. “Yiju” was recorded by audio engineer Steve Ditore as part of a Jack Straw New Media Gallery residency in Seattle. Album design by Wing Fong.

Other albums by Byron Au Yong
YIJU 移居 One Sheet (PDF)
Released by Present Sounds Recordings, 2012

YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation

Media Installation
for voices, paper, er-hu, drums, mouth harp, water gongs

Videos




Description
YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation is an audio/video installation suitable for galleries, museums and other secure public spaces. The multimedia night-garden of audio, video and sculptures is installed by composer Byron Au Yong, media artist John D. Pai and sculptor Lorraine Pai in consultation with venue staff. The installation was created as part of the Jack Straw New Media Gallery Residency Program in 2004.

Program Notes
In 1938, my grandparents fled China. They landed in the Mindanao Mountains of the Philippines where my father was born in 1941. In the late 1960s, my father emigrated to the United States.

YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation marks an arrival in my thoughts about inheriting a broken lineage as well as a point-of-departure for thoughts about my work as a musician.

Spend awhile here before your feet once again meet earth; the place where migration begins.
Byron Au Yong
Creative Team
Byron Au Yong, music
Lorraine Pai, sculpture
Chishan Lin, film
John D. Pai, installation
Yoko Murao, calligrapher
Steve Ditore, audio engineer

Musicians
Karen Akada Sakata (voice, chopsticks)
Byron Au Yong (voice, er-hu, gongs, paper)
Marc Collins (water gong, string bass)
Marc delaCruz (voice, chopsticks)
Jessika Kenney (voice, cymbals, fabric)
Gina Sala & Aiko Shimada (voice)
James Whetzel (voice, gong, paper)

Details
Audio: 8 channels, minimum 4 speakers
Video: 4 DVD players, 4 LCD projectors
Venue: minimum 20’ x 20’ x 16’

Press Quotes
“... a study of memory and heritage... the wisps of images have the same fleeting quality of vague childhood memories.”
Andrew Engelson, Seattle Weekly

“Guided gently by what you see and feel, let your imagination wander and wrap yourself in a warm, comforting blanket of memory and reflection.”
Pat Tanumihardja, Northwest Asian Weekly

“Surround sound and darkness envelop you. There’s whispering, a soft murmur, the filling in of sounds, until the crescendo and a moment of silence followed by cymbals, string instruments, voice another crescendo and again silence. Ongoing repetition and yet each time something totally different.”
Judith Van Praag, International Examiner

“Shrouded in black, composer Byron Au Yong’s YIJU: Songs of Dislocation is an orrery of memory, an attempt to chart the composer’s recollections and speculations about his musician grandfather who emigrated from China in the 1930s. What kind of music might they have made together?”
Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger

News for YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation

[article in the International Examiner]






Leaving the street noise behind, you open the door to the new media gallery, to enter a surprising landscape of sound, light and darkness. Surround sound and darkness envelop you. There's whispering, a soft murmur, the filling in of sounds, until followed by cymbals, string instruments, voice another crescendo and again silence. Ongoing repetition and yet each time something totally different.

Judith van Praag, International Examiner, 15-31 December 2004






[article in the NW Asian Weekly]At once welcoming and contemplative, the installation is a musical and visual sanctum that provokes visitors to think about immigration and reflect upon travel. Fueled by his feelings of inheriting a broken lineage, he has devoted this installation to constructing songs of memory and imagination... Let your imagination wander and wrap yourself in a warm, comforting blanket of memory and reflection.

Pat Tanumihardja, Northwest Asian Weekly, 11-17 December 2004






[YIJU article in The Stranger]Shrouded in black, composer Byron Au Yong's YIJU: Songs of Dislocation is an orrery of memory, an attempt to chart the composer's recollections and speculations about his musician grandfather who emigrated from China in the 1930s. What kind of music might they have made together?Au Yong replies with scattered sounds of an erhu (Chinese fiddle), rattles, and clattering percussion (including one of those small tam-tams that makes a boingy "pang") mingled with sparse cries, sighs, muttering, grunts, chants, and half-sung words. Projected onto hanging whorls of aluminum mesh designed by John Pai, blurred text images of Au Yong's nursing home-bound grandfather, and videos of filmmaker Chishan Lin's father capture the fleeting nature of memory perfectly.

Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger, 16-22 December 2004




YIJU in The Stranger

The Stranger
Here are excerpts from Christopher DeLaurenti's review of YIJU 移居:
"Shrouded in black, composer Byron Au Yong's YIJU: Songs of Dislocation is an orrery of memory, an attempt to chart the composer's recollections and speculations about his musician grandfather who emigrated from China in the 1930s. What kind of music might they have made together?

Au Yong replies with scattered sounds of an erhu (Chinese fiddle), rattles, and clattering percussion (including one of those small tam-tams that makes a boingy "pang") mingled with sparse cries, sighs, muttering, grunts, chants, and half-sung words. Projected onto hanging whorls of aluminum mesh designed by John Pai, blurred text images of Au Yong's nursing home-bound grandfather, and videos of filmmaker Chishan Lin's father capture the fleeting nature of memory perfectly."
The Stranger, 16-22 December 2004

YIJU in the International Examiner

International ExaminerJudith van Praag wrote an insightful review of YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation called Entering a New Dimension. Here's an excerpt:
"Leaving the street noise behind, you open the door to the new media gallery, to enter a surprising landscape of sound, light and darkness.

Surround sound and darkness envelop you. There's whispering, a soft murmur, the filling in of sounds, until followed by cymbals, string instruments, voice another crescendo and again silence. Ongoing repetition and yet each time something totally different." [PDF]
International Examiner, 15-31 December 2004

YIJU in the Northwest Asian Weekly

Northwest Asian WeeklyHere's an excerpt from a review by Pat Tanumihardja about YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation:
"At once welcoming and contemplative, the installation is a musical and visual sanctum that provokes visitors to think about immigration and reflect upon travel.

Fueled by his feelings of inheriting a broken lineage, he has devoted this installation to constructing songs of memory and imagination... Let your imagination wander and wrap yourself in a warm, comforting blanket of memory and reflection."
Northwest Asian Weekly, 11-17 December 2004

Holding Grandfather's Hand

photo of my grandfather and me
Photograph © 2004 by Dean Wong
Well, um, I’ve never actually held my grandfather’s hand. Not in that intimate familiar we-are-chums way.

I’ve only held his hands to help him walk. I guess I’ve really only touched his hands, but I like to imagine that we’ve held hands. I like to think that I’ve inherited something more than lost hopes, thwarted aspirations, and fractured dreams.

I want to feel that I have a direct musical lineage to China through my grandfather, a musician and teacher before my grandparents fled China in 1938, but I don’t.

I find Chinese music in faded, hardcover books in the remotest stacks of the library. As the only composer in a family of overseas Chinese, it is with regret that I never studied music with my grandfather.

(Text panel for YIJU: Songs of Dislocation)


Entering the Gallery

(Preliminary entry panel ideas for YIJU 移居: Songs of Dislocation)

link to YIJU webpage
Photograph © 2004 by Dean Wong
I’ve been walking. A lot. I've been walking so much that my favorite traveling shoes have fallen apart. Actually, my right shoe got caught in rolling luggage. The result, a floppy sandwich of dirty leather, worn by the crusty snow of Manhattan, the fallen incense of Ubud, the beetle-nut spit of Taipei, and the oily rainwater of Los Angeles.

Sometimes, as I travel from New York to Seattle, or even walk up four flights of stairs to my tiny studio in the East Village, I get trapped (like my right shoe got trapped) on baggage. This pause in my routine reminds me that I hide wishes and insecurities by always being on the move.

Entering this handmade, technological garden of songs and images, I pause, leave my broken shoes, and walk towards an uncertain future.


Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. He teaches in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

Byron Au Yong & Christopher Yohmei Blasdel: BreathPlay
BreathPlay

Byron Au Yong: Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas
Kidnapping Water:
Bottled Operas
Byron Au Yong: Yiju
YIJU 移居