World premiere: Hippocrates Cheng, overtone singing soloist, Vicky Shin, conductor, 24 May 2016, HKBU AC Hall, HK 世界首演: 鄭靖楠, 泛音詠唱, 冼宏基, 指揮, 2016年5月24日, 香港浸會大學會堂, 香港
The Pure Voice is a one-movement symphony that let us reflect the concept of “what is music". To me, music is not just about filling pitches and rhythms into bars, but also letting us experience the time, air and and their enigmatic relations with music.
There are two reasons for naming this symphony as ‘The Pure Voice’. First, in Chinese, 純 “pure" can refer to ‘natural and primitive’. In Western orchestra, nearly all instruments are artificial and standardized in terms of instrument stability and sonority. Therefore, this piece is trying to explore their own sonorities to a large extent. “Pure" can also apply to the overall orchestral gesture/soundscape. The various musical treatments make this piece static but flowing, developing but also deepening at the same time.
The piece focuses on the use of timbre of different instruments and the overall musical gesture as a “music". To me, music is time-flowing but also spatial. Therefore, in the piece, the extensive use of orchestral panning and spatial effects creates a multi- dimensional soundscape. The use of human unices and speaking also features the primitivism in the symphony.