Lei Liang’s Compositional Philosophy and My Windows
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Lei Liang (b.1972), a Chinese composer of the new wave, has earned his place in the world of contemporary music through his philosophical approach to composition. Both Eastern and Western cultures have influenced Liang’s compositional style. He draws his inspiration from Chinese traditions, and his music represents his unique interpretation of Chinese culture. At the same time, he values independence; he draws upon musical traditions of all cultures, and he does not simply copy existing musical idioms. He believes that as a Chinese composer, he must transcend Chinese identity. This study illustrates how Liang’s personal life experiences influenced his musical creativity and aesthetics. An examination of Liang’s essays and interviews reveals how his perspectives on Chinese identity and on traditional Chinese culture influenced the development of his unique musical style. This is followed by an analysis of the stylistic devices in Liang’s piano suite, My Windows, to demonstrate how he applies his philosophy to musical structure, timbre, and pacing through concepts of one-tone polyphony and breath in music.