Dirge for the Earth Elements (2012)
Dirge for the Earth Elements was written for violist Tze-Ying Wu and percussionist Brian Mueller at Indiana University. I believe that writing music about human nature is one of the most direct ways for me to connect with the audience. This piece deals with the experience of grief, or more specifically, the dark and unbearable aspects of this emotion. For me, grief has two different characteristics, sorrow and anger, which find symbolic representation in the form of water (tears) and fire. Even though sorrow and anger seem to be opposite each other as passive and active emotions, they remind me of the earth elements of fire and water. While we may use both of these elements in daily life, they can also be destructive forces in natural disasters. This four-movement dirge is written to remember those who have lost their loved ones in such disasters and suffer not being able to fully express their sorrow and anger.