for female voice and percussion (2021), 7 min.

Score WA

First performance: 03.06, 20h, Hamburg, Blurred Edges Festival, Büro für problematische Komposition
Künstlerhaus Faktor Hamburg.
Stimme: Lini GONG
Percussion: Lin CHEN

NüWa or Wa is that creative, caring goddess who, according to early Chinese mythology, brought the human race into the world. First, she molded women from clay, resembling her image. After that, she created men and set humanity on its path. In ancient times, the sky did not completely cover the earth. Fires and floods blazed and foamed at its edges. Wild animals and creatures stormed the earth and devoured people—various powers tugged at the fabric of the world—Wa protected the people. When even the gods quarreled, the sky shattered. The world threatened to collapse. With great effort, Wa managed to prevent the catastrophe. However, when cracks appeared again, she could only seal them with her own body—Wa became part of the sky—she is now immortalized there as a constellation.
Interwoven, abstractly transformed, lifted in a flow of pre-temporal logic and temporality, the piece senses the emotions of the goddess Wa. Opposite and similar emotions meld and divide like the tributaries of a vast delta. Initially pure and clear, Wa's world also grows into an emotional complexity that humans will later emulate. She feels creativity, playfully excited, caring joy, tenderness, fear; she listens, experiences satisfaction, and security amidst her creation, which becomes increasingly independent. Courageously, she sacrifices herself to ultimately close the gaping rifts in the sky. Intensities and contrasts arise from the simplest materials and always direct emotional expression.
The "Daf" or "Def," known in Europe as the tambourine, is a frame drum widespread in Central and East Asia, often adorned with bells on the frame. A simple instrument, archaic, made of wood and leather—striking, tapping, pulling, trembling—it immediately translates emotions into sound. Through different techniques, sensitive play, and utilizing all parts of the instrument, this drum produces a range of familiar yet interesting timbres. It complements the voice, contrasts with it, but sometimes also merges with it. The narrative gesture that the instrument carries in conjunction with the voice becomes a central form of the piece.

Ying Wang, Andreas Karl


03 June 2021


1-4 instruments, vocal music