Rainy Seattle Yields Yellow Earth

February 4, 2011

Aahh.  Wouldn’t we all like to be there in these arctic temperatures and endless blizzards.

In a recent, rainier setting, Huang Ruo’s (composer of upcoming AOP workshop The Song of the Sun) orchestral work The Yellow Earth (黃土地 — Huáng tǔdì in Chinese) was given its West Coast Premiere by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on January 14th as part of their Celebrate Asia! Festival.  The title of the piece, which was performed to a sold-out crowd of 2,500 people, is a symbolic term that refers to the land of China since ancient times.  According to Dr. Ruo,

“The earth is the centre — its color yellow; its taste is sweet, and its aroma is that of perfume.  Mankind as the yellow race, the inhabitants of this world, stems from this equivalent.  Inspired by the meaning and symbolism of the 黃土地, the music in this work is sincere, earthy, yet also celebratory.”

The Yellow Earth was the winning entry in the first Celebrate Asia! Composition Competition, and is an excerpt from Ruo’s concerto The Color Yellow.  Featuring the Chinese sheng (played by Hu Jianbing in the Seattle Symphony concert) it treats the instrument like a traveler, who journeys on the land of the Yellow Earth.

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