Several bass techniques served as inspiration for this piece. As well as using pizzicato in a quasi guitar-like way to produce different contrapuntal voices, I was also attracted to the melodic possibilities of the instrument (its elegance) and how it can produce heavy aggressive textures (its strength). The possibility of transferring expressive techniques from Chinese guqin and erhu to Western strings was also something I had been contemplating and so I began using vibrato and pitch bends in quasi Eastern ways. The idea wasn’t to copy Chinese music in any sort of “correct” way, but to capture some of its elegant phrasing and expression in my own musical setting. In the end, the title “Elegant Strength” relates to all these musical elements, as well as to a certain human elegance that I believe comes from an inner strength.
This performance is by Yung-Chiao Wei: http://www.yungchiao.com/
It was recorded live at the Kaohsiung City Culture Center, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (7/1/16)