Taoist Temple in the Mountains
Attributed to Tung Tang (ca. 950, Five Dynasties, Southern T'ang)
Night Sky Scroll (1985, revised 1992)
Like the "Cold Mountain" in the poems of the Chinese T›ang dynasty poet Han-Shan, the piece might be described as "full of weird sights," containing "cold cliffs, more beautiful the deeper you enter," "valleys...long and strewn with stones, the streams broad and banked with thick grass." Moreover, the work's fabric and flow of notes and rhythms are all descendants of a single musical seed. The seed appears at the beginning and three other times in the work, signalling a change in the way the musical continuity evolves. As in many of my other works, Night Sky Scroll is made so there can be more than one way to hear it; each listener is encouraged to find his or her own path through the work.
The work was originally realized at the Eastman School of Music computer music studio using Barry Vercoe's Csound sound generation program. In 1992, due to an unfortunate computer crash, I was obliged to revise the work taking advantage of newer, real-time computer music technology.