The Yellow Bell

Jones, Kevin [Composer] (2001) The Yellow Bell. (Music).


An 80-minute composition for narrator, dances and Chinese instrumental ensemble. London Chinese Centre commission supported by a PRS Special Projects Award. The compositional brief, and research/experimental challenge, was to write music for Chinese instruments in a superficially Chinese idiom, but using forms and structuring processes more typical of a western formal composing paradigm. In addition the music had to be negotiated and workshopped with dancers, as well as needing to convey something of the didactic aims implicit in the commissioner’s concept. The music derives from and references a wide-range of symbolic codes and relationships inherent in traditional Chinese culture, and also from the shapes and symmetries in maps and photographs of the contemporary landscapes that correspond to the setting of the mythological tale on which The Yellow Bell story is based.

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