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Title Description Published:

All the Colors of the Rainbow:
Chinese Folk Song Suite for Flute

Approx. total performance time: 28:00

1. Boy with Purple Bamboo Flute

2. Poor Man Blue

3. Mountain everGreen

4. Tiny Yellow Bird

5. Woman Sewing Orange Purse

6. Red Ribbon Sister

7. All the Colors of the Rainbow

This is the third version of this suite (The first two were for electro-acoustic CD accompaniment and piano-only accompaniment, which are both available from the Instrumental music page.)

This piece was originally commissioned by a flutist friend in grad school. He was from Taiwan and was interested in getting pieces of traditional Chinese folk songs set to "Westernized" accompaniments—which, he claimed, were becoming very popular in Taiwan.

Apparently, I overshot the mark. While he claimed to like what I produced, he declined to do anything with it, saying that the polyphony and other compositional techniques I employed were beyond the pale for the average Chinese listener. I don't think he ever actually did do anything with it.

However, that has not deterred me from producing three versions of this collection: one with piano-only accompaniment, one with electro-acoustic accompaniment, and this one, with symphonic orchestra accompaniment. Personally, I think this is the best of the three. Hopefully, it will one day be performed by a live orchestra.

In the meantime, it might be worth pointing out that six of the seven movements are based on authentic Chinese folk songs. [I have actually heard other arrangements of some of them being played in Chinese restaurants.] The last movement was my attempt to create a musical theme that sounded authentically Chinese but which, at the same time, gave me freedom to explore the overarching concept behind this collection. I did not, however, want it to sound clichéd or stereotypical. I also used it explore yet another development of my musical contribution to musicology: equitonalism. (If you want to know anything more about that, you'll have to ask.)