We are currently at work on a new piece titled “Magical Adventures of the Monkey King”,
inspired by Journey to the West 西遊記 , one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature.
The world premiere performance will be Nov. 2, 2012 at Old First Church in San Francisco. http://www.oldfirstconcerts.org
The star of the story is the mischievous Monkey King who gains awesome magical powers and uses them to save a group of colorful pilgrims from disaster time and time again as they proceed on their journey through fantastic landscapes populated with demons, gods and monsters. Along the way, aspects of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are explored and many spiritual insights are gained. The story is a fictionalized account of the legendary pilgrimage to India of the Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang 玄奘 who traveled along the silk road circa 627AD.
The piece was composed by Gary Schwantes and could be considered a “tone poem” evoking the essence of the saga through the unique voice of the X-tet . As it follows the story of the Monkey King and the colorful group of Pilgrims on their perilous journey from the ancient Tang capital of Chang'an to India and then to the mystical conclusion, you will hear elements of traditional and modern Chinese music, jazz, western chamber music, Middle Eastern and Indian music as well as some wild experimental textures that call forth the magical aspects of the tale. What a blast this will be!
This project made possible in part by support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation
ULTRA WORLD X-TET is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music