Recently, Du Yun, a composer, contemporary artist and curator based in the United States, officially announced signing with Modern Sky Record Label, becoming another composer to join the Modern Sky Musician Matrix.
Du Yun, who has been active in the world of music and the international contemporary art stage, is the first and only Asian female winner in the history of the Pulitzer Prize . With this signing, Du Yun will bring new works to expand the boundaries of contemporary classical music in China with Modern Sky.
Du Yun was born in Shanghai, and currently works and lives in New York. Du Yun, who was a music student, has successively studied under Deng Erbo, Chen Gang, Randolph Coleman, Bernard Rands, Mario Davidovsky, etc., and is now a composition professor and doctoral tutor at the Peabody Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. The “Washington Post” named her as one of the “top 35 female composers ”
Du Yun and her works of art are as diverse, complex, three-dimensional and profound. A bold and self-loyal artistic aesthetic allows Du Yun to be free from the constraints of thinking and context in her creation.
Du Yun, who is also a composer, performing artist, crossover artist, and curator, has multiple identities. Most of her creative themes focus on social issues, including deep emotion and reflection, with diversified narrative techniques and rich and diverse musical forms, and integrate different art fields into one, music language is eclectic, and music style is integrated.
In 2017, Du Yun became the first Asian woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her opera “Angel’s Bone”. The New Yorker called her “an endless stream of original power and an unwavering conscience for joining the world.” “The album was also named the best record of the year for two consecutive years.
Two years later, Du Yun brought “Angel Bone” to Beijing and became the “Artist of the Year ” at the 2019 Beijing International Music Festival.
For many years, Du Yun has always believed in the concept of “music without boundaries” and cooperated with artists from all over the world: In 2015 , Du Yun created the work “When a Tiger Meets a Rosa Rugosa” on “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores ” for violinist Hilary Hahn, which helped Hahn win the 57th Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Album; In 2017, Du Yun’s collaboration with Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander won the Karachi Biennale Best Popular Work Award; in 2019, “Air Glow” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Composition
In recent years, Du Yun has also been committed to the promotion of folk music. In 2017 , he launched the Future Tradition creative project, and extensively cooperated with folk musicians and folk groups around the world to promote the world’s traditional culture including dissemination and illumination of Chinese local opera.
Time goes back to 2004, when Du Yun completed her first indoor opera Zolle, which is a story about the afterlife. Before the completion of the work, another story about the past life gradually took shape in Du Yun’s ears.
This thing about the pre-existence of magic, is included in the album’s theme works – A Cockroach’s Tarantella.
The New York Times called the JACK Quartet “the nation’s most important quartet.” Throughout this album, the impeccable musicianship of both the JACK Quartet and Du Yun completed the most intense, single pattern of emotional expression that fully presents the open consciousness in contemporary classical music .
The album consists of five independent chapters. The opening song “Epilogue: With Beauty” is an improvisation by the quartet based on the sounds of Wuhan’s opening post-COVID19. The song “Prologue” echoes in a distance, and is the other of the two improvisations on the album.
The middle song “Tattooed Snow,” is fifteen minutes of ups and downs with John Zorn’s unruliness. “A Cockroach’s Tarantella” is divided into 10 scenes performed in both Chinese and English.
The album of the same name “A Cockroach’s Tarantella“ adopts an opera-like narrative of music and narration as a whole, and the plot is constructed by the rendering of a string quartet like video and the highly infectious language narration of Du Yun. The storytelling and the reality of emotions take place in a space of dramatic conflicts and personal thoughts. The ebb and flow work well with each other.
The story starts with a cockroach. Du Yun uses the identity of a cockroach from a female perspective to explore human desire and pursuit through the unrelated but complementary destiny of the two protagonists, and to trace the memory of human degeneration. We are constantly pursuing the so-called “upward” and “sublime,” but always repeated, phenomenon.
The addition of Du Yun expands the roster of composers under Modern Sky. As an independent music label based on youth culture, close co-operation with composers is another deepening and expansion of Modern Sky in the field of Chinese original music.
Modern Sky has always been committed to assisting the diversified development of independent music, culture and art in contemporary China with an inclusive vision. I believe that as more composers join in, contemporary classical music will also be understood and recognized by more Chinese music fans. Glow with new power.