Friday, April 20, 2018

EarShot Jacksonville Symphony Readings: Composer Spotlight - Meng Wang

Meng Wang (b. 1989) is a Chinese composer currently based in New York City. Meng’s music has been performed throughout North America, China, and Europe, by esteemed ensembles such as The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Thin Edge New Music Collective, LONGLEASH trio, MSM Composer’s Orchestra (George Manahan, conductor) and China Youth Symphony Orchestra. Her piece Beloved by Artemis won the 2012 Chinese National Chamber Music Composition Competition and was selected for the composition showcase by the Xi’an Conservatory of Music in China. Meng has been a fellow at Aspen Music Festival and School and was named The Deolus W. Husband Scholarship for Composition in 2015-2017. Upcoming projects include a chamber opera, Simulacrum, presented by Path New Music Theatre, which will be premiered in April 2018. Meng is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Dr. Reiko Fueting. She also studied with Andreia Pinto Correia and Kaija Saariaho.

Meng Wang was selected for the EarShot Jacksonville Symphony Readings for her piece Blooming in the Long Dark Winter’s Night, which will be workshopped and conducted by Music Director Courtney Lewis in a final performance on Friday, April 20 at 8PM. Details here

Meng spoke with us about the piece and what she looks forward to at the readings.

Composer Meng Wang

American Composers Orchestra: What was your reaction to finding out that your piece had been selected for the EarShot Jacksonville Symphony Readings? What are you looking forward to about the program?

Meng Wang: When I first saw my name on the EarShot program this year, I was so excited! Especially when I realized that this would be such a fantastic chance to have my music performed by the incredible Jacksonville Symphony. I started to feel that this trip to Florida would be mean a lot to me.

ACO: Your piece Blooming in the Long Dark Winter’s Night is based on the French symbolist poem "Correspondences" by Charles Pierre Baudelaire. Why did you decide to base your piece on this poem? Is the poem well-suited to your compositional style?

MW: "Correspondences" is a sonnet divided into two quatrain and two tercets. The title of the poem points out what the poem is about, which is to blend all the perceptions. When I was working on this piece, I used the ideas of "blending" and "transforming one thing from another" to organize my orchestration of this piece. We can hear the frequency transferring from different groups in the opening section, and all the sounds blending into a sound field in the slow part. I chose metallic percussion instruments hitting throughout the whole piece to imitate the bell in the ancient temple, which then becomes the most important symbol of this piece.

ACO: What aspects of your piece have you improved or fine-tuned during the readings?

MW: After the two-day intensive rehearsal of my piece with Music Director Courtney Lewis and workshop with three mentors Marcos Balter, Steven Mackey, and Courtney Bryan, my piece has been adjusted in many ways and become more and more mature. For me, this is the most valuable experience during the readings. Now I'm very looking forward to hearing the latest version performing by Jacksonville Symphony on April 20th.

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The EarShot Jacksonville Symphony Readings culminate in a final performance on Friday, April 20 at 8PM. Details here

Check out Meng's contemporary opera group, Path New Music Theatre, which has an upcoming performance of Meng's chamber opera Simulacrum on June 3-10 in NYC.

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