Just Released: Du Yun & JACK Quartet: “A Cockroach’s Tarantella”

Du Yun and the JACK Quartet release their first collaboration,
A Cockroach’s Tarantella.

A Cockroach’s Tarantella features two versions of the title piece, written by Du Yun for string quartet and spoken narrative, performed by JACK and with the composer narrating: one in English and one in Chinese. Also included are Du Yun’s string quartet Tattooed in Snow, written in 2014, and two improvisations: Epilogue and Prologue. The Epilogue is based on a field recording by a news reporter, Yang Nan, of a market in Wuhan, China on the first day it opened after lockdown in March 2020.

Du Yun says about the origin of A Cockroach’s Tarantella: “In 2004, I wrote my first chamber opera, Zolle, which was a story on the afterlife. As I was finishing Zolle, I fabricated another piece that would serve as a life-before fable, which became A Cockroach’s Tarantella. 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. Both stories are steeped in humankind’s ubiquitous fascination with regression, the conflict of belonging and alienation, and the resurrection archetype.”

Du Yun’s previous recording project, Dinosaur Scar with ICEensemble, received a 2019 Grammy nomination in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition for her piece Air Glow.

A Cockroach’s Tarantella Suggested Tracks:

Recorded June 24 & 25, 2020 at Oktaven Studios
Released August 13, 2020 via Modern Sky Records

Available via:
Spotify | Apple Music | Tidal | YouTube | Amazon Music

Explore the works further: A Cockroach’s Tarantella | Tattooed in Snow

Album Credits

Composed by Du Yun (ASCAP)
Executive Producer: Du Yun
Produced by Du Yun, Ryan Streber
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ryan Streber @ Oktaven Audio
Recording Dates: June 24 & 25th  2020

Album Cover Art Direction: Spa Theory
Hair and Makeup Artist: Nina Carelli
Photography: Qin Zhen
Album design: Ding Jianjian 

A Cockroach’s Tarantella: story by Du Yun. Story written in English (2006) and Chinese (2019).
A Cockroach’s Tarantella was commissioned by Chamber Music America. 

Tattooed in Snow was commissioned by PEAK Performances.

Thanks to JACK Quartet, Qin Zhen, Angela Fan, James Egelhofer, Jamie Leidwinger, Dayan Liu, Eben Askins, David T. Little, and Shahzia Sikander.