Mei-Fang Lin was born in Taiwan. After graduating from the National Taiwan Normal University, she came to the United States and finished her master’s degree in composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at Berkeley. She is currently a visiting professor in composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is also the associate conductor with the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble. She studied with composer Philippe Leroux in Paris during 2002-2005. She was also selected by the IRCAM reading panel to pursue the one-year computer music course at IRCAM in Paris during 2003-2004. Major awards for her compositions include those from the Seoul International Competition for Composers in Korea, Bourges Competition in France, American Music Center, Pierre Schaeffer Competition in Italy, Luigi Russolo Competition in Italy, Prix SCRIME in France, National Association of Composers, USA Competition, 21st Century Piano Commission Competition in US (Winner – 1999), etc.

Lin’sworkshavebeenplayedbygroupssuchasthe Nieuw Ensemble(Amsterdam), Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin (Berlin), Ensemble Surplus (Freiburg), Ensemble Concorde (Dublin), Armonia Opus Trio (Buenos Aires), Melos-Etos (Bratislava), Ensemble Cairn (Paris), Contemporary Chamber Orchestra Taipei (Taiwan) and many more ensembles in the USA (New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, etc.). Lin’s music had also been heard in international festivals such as the ISCM World Music Days (Hong Kong, Slovenia), Festival Résonances (France), Alba Music Festival (Italy), The Seoul International Computer Music Festival (Korea), Ostrava Music Days (Czech Republic), Amadeus Piano Festival (US), Festival Synthèse (France), Vancouver Pro Musica Festival (Canada), Festival HTMLLES (Canada), Maxis Festival (UK), ppIANISSIMO Festival (Bulgaria), En Red O Festival (Spain)… etc.

L’image reconstituée
L’image reconstituée consists of four movements, all of which are based on a series of chords that are not presented clearly until the last movement. The piece starts out with a juxtaposition of different ideas that not only seem to contradict each other, but also are segmented in a way to disguise their harmonic identity. The movement is entitled Unknown object.

The second movement, called A space of waves, explores and highlights the undulating quality of the sound wave by applying this phenomenon to the fixed series of chords mentioned above. The individual notes that make up the chords oscillate at their own speed and at specific intervals given to each instrument, creating a sonic ocean of waves.

The third movement Shadow that does not follow initially introduces the clarinet as the leader, while the other instruments simply imitate or echo what it does. The entire movement presents a gradual breakdown of the influence of clarinet and the resurfacing of individuality in each instrument. Toward the end, this pre-established hierarchy in the ensemble is completely shattered. The piece culminates at the clash symbolized by the piano clusters and the chaos among the rest of the instruments.

After the chaos, the identity of the series of chords is finally revealed in the last movement, which is named Prototype.

Yarny/Wiry was commissioned by the ensemble Yarn/Wire in New York for their Mei-Fang Lin Portrait Concert in May 2007. It is a piece where the composer tried to ask herself questions regarding the relationship between one’s perception of continuity/discontinuity and the regularity/ irregularity of phrase structures and pulses at various speeds. Does recognition of an existing pulse automatically set up a kind of continuity for the listeners? And when an established pulse is interrupted or obscured, how much is this continuity preserved or disturbed in our perception? When do we hear phrase structures as regular in opposed to irregular? Do they have to comply with the established pulse to make the audience sense the regularity of a phrase? These are some of the questions the composer attempted to work out in this composition.