flute, violin, cello, and dan bau (2006)

Excerpt from premiere performance, Kasser Theater, Montclair State University, 2006
Newband: Stefani Starin, flute; Tom Chiu, violin; Caroline Stinson, cello; Elizabeth Brown, dan bau

duration: 12′

program note

After hearing and falling in love with the dan bau on a concert tour of Southeast Asia, I made a big detour in my musical life and spent winter 2003 as Artist-in-Residence at the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music through a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. There, I taught flute and studied dan bau and traditional Vietnamese music. The dan bau is a monochord (one-stringed instrument) played by plucking the string at the harmonic nodes and bending the notes with a water buffalo ‘whammy bar’. It’s amplified with the type of bullhorn used to blare propaganda all over Vietnam. Detour, written at the MacDowell Colony in 2004 and revised in 2006, is dedicated to Stefani Starin.