ZONG Chiang’s Artistic Voyage
This piece represents the journey of a composer’s self-discovery, wherein one sought the perfect synthesis between one’s own compositions, the cultures of the East and the West, and all paradigms of the classics. Three years prior, intensely moved by the classical arts, ZONG penned The Great Renaissance. As the crystallization of a young artist’s reveries, The Great Renaissance takes inspiration from Medieval and Renaissance musical elements, which are further combined with ZONG’s own understanding of contemporary art and culture – all for the sake of perfectly capturing a moment of youthful inspiration. Fusing classical string instruments with contemporary electronic music, ZONG decidedly broke into new creative territory with The Great Renaissance. With this piece, not only did ZONG combine the visual arts and music into a lively banquet of color and melodies, but he also pierced the heart of a modern Maestro, that of Lee Shi-Chi.
Two Fates, Linked by Music
On the one hand, we have a towering Maestro, a trailblazer of modern art who has entered the eighth decade of his life; on the other hand, we have a young composer barely into his twentieth year, who brims with boundless passion and skill for the art of composition. Although a gulf of sixty years stand between them, a link began to form as early as 1967. In the 1960s, Lee Shi-Chi inaugurated his “Orientation” series of abstract paintings, a collection inspired by the variegated permutations of rectangular and spherical shapes. Particularly noteworthy is the 1967 painting Untitled: it explores how colors of Chinese folk tradition (red, blue, and black) could be expressed through Op Art forms, in the geometrical shape of a color-wheel. In the eyes of our young composer, Untitled perfectly encapsulates a soundscape of visuality created by overlaying the reflections of light on a CD surface over the foundations of a black vinyl record.
And thus two artists, from different generations, began to connect and communicate in more intimate and profound ways. ZONG’s The Great Renaissance deeply touched Lee Shi-Chi, as he saw his younger self in the melodies: the spirit in which The Great Renaissance combined the ancients and the moderns reminded Lee of his own odyssey, from his early training in the Western arts, to his employment of traditional Chinese elements, and to the gradual maturation of his artistic style. Here, we can observe how the force of art consists of mutual affection and reciprocal stimulation – the dark and heavy creases, as well as the patterns of bright Chinese colors in Lee Shi-Chi’s painting juxtaposes and coagulates modern structures with primordial totemisms. And like a visual recording of gravity itself, Lee’s painting inspired the young composer’s timbres, bringing the two into a time-transcending friendship via art’s affective powers.
A Unique Moment in the Lives of Two Artists
What is the spirit of modern art, but the generosity that gives an artist the opportunity to break new ground, to create yet-unseen things, and to discover and let blossom the unique potential in their individual lives? And modern art rewards those with unwavering ideals: finding inspiration from the ins-and-outs of contemporary life, Lee Shi-Chi’s methodological insistence towards one’s Foundations and his attention to the Modern culminated into numerous idiosyncratic and visionary creations. Driven by an urge to explore avant-garde art and a sense of obligation towards history and culture, ZONG Chiang pays tribute to Lee Shi-Chi’s oeuvre with Fantastic Art Symphony, a stunning symphonic feast of tonality and visuality: a heartfelt and vital rearrangement of The Great Renaissance, ZONG invited the Shanghai String Orchestra to perform Fantastic Art Symphony alongside with him, all in order to celebrate the ingenious works of art gifted to the world by the Maestro, Lee Shi-Chi.
1. 大文藝復興～奇藝交響曲 The Great Renaissance(symphony Ver.)
《大文藝復興 ~ 奇藝交響曲》是以李錫奇最喜愛的蔣榮宗《大文藝復興》作品原曲所改編。奇藝交響曲版本融合了更豐富而昇華的弦樂變化，以及Synth Pluck電子音效，來展現藝術大師戲劇化的生命歷程，以及其作品中充滿快意、絢爛、奔騰等等元素，鮮明而多變的的視覺感官。前奏由戰鬥般的節奏感開場，傳達藝術家獨特的自由思維，以及為藝術思想奮戰的可貴；曲末則以進擊的鼓聲與弦樂撥奏，象徵真正的藝術是持續不斷的進化，彷彿藝術大師李錫奇生命的史詩，一個藝術時代的創造者，其人與其創作仍為進行式。
作曲：蔣榮宗 / 編曲：蔣榮宗
錄音：蔣三省音樂工作室 母帶後期處理工程師：楊大緯 混音工程師：蔣榮宗母帶後期處理錄音室：楊大緯錄音工作室 OP: JMS MUSIC STUDIO SP: Universal Ms Publ. Ltd. Taiwan ISRC: TW-P01-17-004-06
1. The Great Renaissance (Symphony Ver.) – Fantastic Art Symphony
The Great Renaissance (Symphony Ver.) – Fantastic Art Symphony is a rearrangement of Lee Shi-Chi’s favorite piece of ZONG’s music, The Great Renaissance. In order to represent the Maestro’s artistic journey, Fantastic Art Symphony includes richer and more refined variations of the strings, which is further combined with Synth Pluck electronic effects. The piece places a heavy emphasis on the sensations of lightness, grandeur, and swift galloping, sonic elements that enliven the listener’s visual faculties. The grand rhythms of a decisive skirmish dominate the introduction, expressing the boundless freedom that the artist inhabits, as well as the combative urgency of defending one’s artistic beliefs. Fantastic Art Symphony, an epic poem dedicated to the life of the Maestro, Lee Shi-Chi, ends with a barrage of drums and the pizzicato of string instruments, symbolizing that true art will never cease to evolve: as the vanguard of an artistic epoch, one’s self and one’s creations are constantly in the flux of becoming.
Composer: Zong Chiang/ Arranger: Zong Chiang
Mixing Engineer: Zong Chiang Post-production Engineer: Dave Yang Post-production Studio: Dave Yang Recording Studio OP: JMS MUSIC STUDIO SP: Universal Ms Publ. Ltd. Taiwan ISRC: TW-P01-17-004-06
2. 大文藝復興 The Great Renaissance
作曲：蔣榮宗 / 編曲：蔣榮宗
錄音：蔣三省音樂工作室 母帶後期處理工程師：楊大緯 混音工程師：蔣榮宗母帶後期處理錄音室：楊大緯錄音工作室 OP: JMS MUSIC STUDIO SP: Universal Ms Publ. Ltd. Taiwan ISRC: TW-P01-14-004-01
2. The Great Renaissance
The Great Renaissance was originally included in ZONG’s Moment of Glory II: The First Original Score. Inspired by the music of the early Renaissance period, the piece combines classical string instruments and modern electronic music in a fresh and exciting manner. Carving out a soundscape of searching mysteriousness and even a tingling sense of unease, The Great Renaissance is a milestone for ZONG, for it stands as a testament to his first true encounter with classical art. In the beginning, it was just a stir in his bosom, but what resulted from this was a series of experimentations from ZONG that sought to marry the transcendental beauty of music and art.
Composer: Zong Chiang/ Arranger: Zong Chiang
Mixing Engineer: Zong Chiang Post-production Engineer: Dave Yang Post-production Studio: Dave Yang Recording Studio OP: JMS MUSIC STUDIO SP: Universal Ms Publ. Ltd. Taiwan ISRC：TW-P01-14-004-01