Born in 1993 in Almaty, Kazakstan and raised in Hong Kong, Tsui Mei-ling is a young award-winning composer and pianist whose multi-cultural background inspires her to organically blend Chinese, Eurasian and Western elements in her music. Tsui earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music with First Class Honours from the Chinese University of Hong Kong under the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship and Master of Music in Composition with Distinction from King’s College London under the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Tsui is also recipient of Renaissance College Hong Kong Music Scholarship, AIG Hong Kong Scholarship, Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Scholarship, and C.F. Hu Postgraduate Memorial Scholarship. Tsui notable mentors and composition teachers include Prof. Lo Kingman, Prof. Silvina Milstein, Prof. Victor Chan, Prof. Wendy Lee and Dr. Lo Hau-Man. She has studied piano with her mother, Dr. Rashida Yanchinova and Ms. Nancy Loo. Her works have been performed by Hong Kong New
Music Ensemble, Romer String Quartet, Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble, Lontano Ensemble, Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble and broadcast by the London Arts radio “Resonance Fm.” In the 2016-2017 season, Tsui has been invited to the Asian Composers League Festival in Hanoi and Asia-Europe New Music Festival in Kazan, Russia.
Inspired by Taoist philosophy and its concept of dualities Yin and Yang (陰陽), the suite is an investigation of the various compositional methods used in creating striking contrasts between opposing elements within three dualities: water and fire; earth and air; dark and light. The work is also an exploration of the descriptive abilities of the piano and the composer’s experimentation with timbre, colour, register, texture, dynamics, and pedalling in creating this set of highly contrasting mini-pieces.
I. ‘Water’: Rapid staccato repetitions of the same note in the high register enhanced by the grace notes and melodic leaps describe water-drops and playfulness of water. It evolves into whirling passages towards the end where the pulse becomes more fluid and the atmosphere more lyrical.
II. ‘Fire’: Strong chords and boisterous glissandos of wildfire reconstruct into rapid repetition and doubling of the staccato notes of cracking fire, which evolves into the smoke of ascending and descending linear passages over sonorous chords. At last, the fading flames of the contrary-motion rapid triplets vanish into thin air.