Composer: Heng LIU
Instrument: Marimba and Chinese Percussion
Duration: 8 min.
The General is a duo for Marimba and Chinese Percussion. In this piece, the General is a character who heads the troops and combats with enemy in ancient China, as in my mind, a hero named XIANG YU in 202 BC. For Chinese Percussion in this piece, there are four different colors of sound of instruments which are the most representative in China, and here I combine them with Marimba to describe the scenes of the general’s heroic and brave in the battlefield.
This piece is composed for 2018 International Percussion Festival of NCPA(National Centre for the Performing Arts) in China, the World Premier is on Sept.23rd, 2018 in NCPA by Heng LIU and Ran WEI.
Chinese Bass Drum
2 Chinese Opera Gongs
Bang Zi (High Pitched Woodblock)
2 Chinese Cymbals
About the composer +
Heng LIU is the principal percussion of the China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra, executive director of China Percussion Association, artist of MEINL Percussion, MEINL Cymbals, Innovative Percussion, Marimba One, and Remo.
Liu studied percussion from childhood with his father Yaguang LIU, professor of percussion at Xi 'an Conservatory of Music. In 2005, Liu was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music. He studied with professor Gang LIU and professor Biao LI successively and obtained bachelor's and master's degrees. By the time he was 18, Liu had won the first prize in the National Youth Percussion Competition. Liu was a percussion jury of the Italian International Percussion Competition, where he also held master classes and special concerts. He also judges the annual International Network Percussion Competition and National Youth Percussion Competition.
Between 2017 to 2019, Liu embarked on his improvisation and interactive percussion concert "Give me one hour" tour. The tour hit many major Chinese cities including Tianqiao Art Center in Beijing, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Xi 'An concert hall, Shijiazhuang Center for the Performing Arts, etc. Liu performed entirely improvised sets based on interaction with the audience, bringing concertgoers a brand new musical experience.
So far, Liu has published two albums: Percussion Visionary --Heng LIU Percussion Concert and DRUMS, an original album released by "Hei Chao" Duo with renowned drummer Yanchao LI. He also writes a personal column Heng LIU Said in music weekly.
As a percussionist, Liu has traveled to various music festivals around the world. These include: Italian International Percussion Competition and Festival, Greek International Percussion Competition and Festival, NCPA International Percussion Festival, Beijing International Electronic Music Festival, Beijing Modern Music Festival, Jazz Shanghai Music Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MIDI Festival and so on.
In the meanwhile, Liu has created more than 30 works, including percussion ensemble piece "The General", "Memory", "Face2Face", percussion and electronic music "Delay", "Percumotion", percussion solo "Rain the Blind Monk", "Wild LEO ", "Poem" and many more. In 2016, his Chinese Traditional Percussion solo piece "Gazing on Mountain TAI" won the 1st prize of China Traditional Music Festival - CCOM ethnic Percussion works collection competition.
In 2019, Heng LIU won "Best Work Awards" and "Best All-round Percussionist" of 2019 Drummmer's Ceremony.
Review (Percussive Notes, October 2021)Heng Lui’s catalog of multiple-percussion works are edgy and invigorating, while his keyboard works evoke lush romantic harmonies. In “The General” the performer and audience are treated to a chamber-music work that does both, and accurately lives up to its program, evoking the story of hero Xiaun Yu leading his troops into battle. Coupled with five mallets and a unique multi-percussion setup, the performers will likely feel like they too are heading into battle.While the narrative and musical ideas that support this work are reason enough to consider programming it, a few things should be noted. Despite the limited instruments in the multiplepercussion part, that part is involved and highenergy and evolves very slowly. However, once the piece has hit the faster tempo, it relentlessly pushes until the end. Additionally, there are some rapid shifting and fast passages in the marimba part. That, coupled with the stamina required for the other percussion part, will require two mature performers who can handle the stamina, techniques, and pacing.Considering the complexity of this work and connectivity of the parts, this piece would fit nicely on a graduate or professional recital.—Quintin Mallette
Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Photo: NCPA Orchestra
Engraving: CPH Engraving
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