In 1990, after eight years in the United States, I wrote my first work for solo piano, titled My Song, commissioned for Peter Serkin. At the time, my primary compositional concentration was to develop a melodic and harmonic style within the boundaries of Chinese folk music, which are mostly in pentatonic modes, and contemporary Western Classical music. As a result, all the four movements in My Song were either based on existing Chinese folk tunes or written in their style. I was asked recently by another virtuoso pianist friend, Yefim Bronfman, to write a work for solo piano. After the passing of 17 years, I wonder if there is any change in my writing. I therefore titled the new suite My Other Song.
There are four movements in the composition, the first three of which are brief and provide contrast in character. The theme of the last movement, the longest, is based on a Buddhist chant heard at the wake for my mother in February 2005.