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Edward McGuire Chinese Air and Dances (2017) 6'
First performed on: Aug 2004
First performed by: National Children's Orchestra of Scotland, during Shanghai International Arts Festival
First performed at: China
Notes: Jasmine Flower - Purple Bamboo - Song of Happiness
'I learned these tunes on a trip to Beijing in 1990 - following performances of my ballet Peter Pan in Hong Kong - from the Er-hu player Zhou Yao-Kun. The following year, his group and mine, the Whistlebinkies, carried out exchange visits and we performed these dances together to audiences in Scotland and China. We again played them on our 1997 visit to Taiwan. The first is a celebration of new-born life, represented by the young shoots of "Purple Bamboo." The second is an energetic dance of peace and happiness, literally translated "joy unbounded." Here, they are preceded by the melody of the song Mo Li hua - "Jasmine Flower.""
The full orchestra version of the dances were premiered - as an encore - by the BBCSSO conducted by Alexander Titov in The Grand Theatre, Shanghai on 11.11.2000 as part of the Shanghai International Festival of The Arts. The new String Orchestra arrangement of Mo Li hua and the dances were made for the visit of members of the National Children's Orchestra of Scotland to China in August 2004.
Edward McGuire was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in March 2004 to write for Scottish and Chinese music, and the arrangements were completed as part of the research stage of the project.