A Cockroach’s Tarantella (2010)

《 跳塔郎泰拉舞的某蟑螂》

for String Quartet and a Narrator
Duration: 19 mins

Excerpt: English Version:

Chinese Text Version Video:

Commissioned by the Chamber Music America USA

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.


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.


2004年, 我写完我第一部室内歌剧,Zolle,那是一部有关来生的故事, 自己编的文字。 在即将写完之前,另一部有关前世的故事在耳朵里逐渐形成。这部前生的幻事, 就是这 《跳塔郎泰拉舞的某蟑螂》,我听到的是弦乐四重奏和一个叙说者,作品可以单独成立,也可以作为室内歌剧Zolle 的前幕。 两首主人公的命运毫不相关却相辅相成,当时我对人类蜕化的记忆,溯源和我们不断追寻所谓向上,崇高然而却周而复始的现象挺感兴趣。

据悉科普:有种母性蟑螂类一生中只交配一次,继而不断产卵囊,在20摄氏度左右每两到三天产卵30到40 颗不等。如果用人类的时间来推算,普通蟑螂的生命期大约六月到一年。


First Performance:

iO Quartet
Erik Carlson, Joshua Modney, violin; Elizabeth Weisser, viola; Chris Gross, Violoncello; Du Yun, narrator
Feb 2010, at the Symphony Space, NYC

Story and text by Du Yun


Run (2012)