Tattooed in Snow (2015)

for string quartet.
Duration: ca 17 mins

About the Work

Tattooed in Snow explores the temporary and fragile crystallization in nature and in space. The four players of the quartet form the four pillars of a musical space, and as a chant begins to move among theme, it layers, repeats and takes shape in the manner of a sculpture in sand or snow. Inspired by these delicate art forms as well as by chant and poetry, and building on my work with both visual artists and spoken-word artists, this piece provides a nuanced multilayered narrative trajectory.

Our final days sunk
from the sky to the salty main.
That moment will never return which once has been

–Du Yun

* When possible, the four members of the string quartet should stand far apart from each other, forming a very large semi-circle.

First Performance:
February 8th, 2015 by the Shanghai Quartet
Alexander Kasser Theater, Peak Performances. Montclair
Tattooed in Snow was commissioned by PEAK Performances for the Shanghai Quartet.

Please note: there is an optional video that could go with this work. It goes on after rehearsal K, at around mm126. The video, about 4’50”, should run to the end. The string quartet does not need to coordinate with the video. Screen remains dark before and after the video.

This video is by the Shanghai visual artist Lu Yang. 



THE BALTIMORE SUN |JUN 26, 2018 | 3:20 PM

In another combination of music and video, “Tattooed in Snow,” Du Yun juxtaposed a string quartet and a curious video by Lu Yang that depicts a sort of live-action Japanese anime character. Not being cohesive seems to be the point, and it succeeds.

Read here.