World premiere: Sha Tin Symphony Orchestra; Pang Wing Man, pipa; Benson Ma, conductor, 19 October 2019, Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium, HK 世界首演: 沙田交響樂團; 彭泳汶, 琵琶; 馬文彬, 指揮, 2019年10月19日, 沙田大會堂演奏廳, 香港
Through composing “The Initial Thoughts", the composer wishes to express and awake the state of mind when an individual first decides to learn about music. Among numerous Chinese instruments, the composer believes that pipa is an instrument which could most reflect the soul of the instrumentalist himself/herself.
The composer utilizes the orchestra to depict city life that we live in, whereas the pipa solo symbolizes the soul of an individual. Similar to the tug of war between an individual’s soul and the surrounding that one lives in, the pipa solo and the orchestra mingle and repel at times during the composition.
In addition, the composer composes the pipa solo part by combining the figures and sounds from traditional pipa music with modern compositional techniques. The composer also gives an important role to the orchestra. Apart from accompanying the pipa solo and giving contrasts, there are multiple instances of orchestral solo passages where the orchestra also shares the limelight.
The composer creates a clear, simple yet elegant melody to the pipa solo, which resembles the initial intention when we started out to learn music. Although it may be tainted and mutilated by the bustling surrounding city life, the composer would like to give everyone a chance to look back and contemplate upon our original intention and resolution. It is the wish of the composer that the audience would be able to do the same on other aspects of their life—to find their own meaning of work and life, and to find hope along the way.