for String Quartet and a Narrator Duration: 19 mins
Du Yun performs with members of Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the 2019 Beijing Music Festival
Excerpt: English Version:
Chinese Text Version Video:
Commissioned by the Chamber Music AmericaUSA
About the Work
In 2004, I wrote my first chamber opera, Zolle, which was a story on theafterlife. As I was finishing Zolle, I fabricated another piece that would serve as a life-beforefable. At this time, I was living in a government subsidized student apartment. When I would take breaks from my work, particularly in the early hours, I would talk to the many cockroaches that shared my residence.
A Cockroach’s Tarantella was meant to score for a string quartet and a narrator as a stand alone piece at a later timeas well as a prelude to Zolle. Both stories are steeped in humankind’s ubiquitous fascination with regression, the conflict of belonging and alienation, and the resurrection archetype.
! SOME SCIENTIFIC FACTS !
The female cockroach species mate once in their lives, and then continue to produce ootheca, or egg cases, of thirty to forty eggs at two to three day intervals under temperature of 20 degrees Centigrade. The average cockroach lifespan is 6 months to a year.
Female cockroaches can reproduce for years without needing a mate, producing dozens of generations of all-female descendants, a team of scientists has found. Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction, allowing young insects to spawn from unfertilized eggs.