Forrest Fang is known for composing many musical pieces filled with experimentation of electronic sounds and foreign instruments. His study of electronic music, composition, and jazz improvisation at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, along with his gained appreciation for stringed instruments, gave him many amazing compositions come to life both audibly and visually.
One song in particular, “Lullaby For A Twin Moon” is a great example of his unique musical work. As I listened to it, it rekindled my appreciation and admiration for instrumental pieces with not only its sound, but what it also gave me visually.
The beginning of the piece starts out with as a soft approach as it is guided by an andante tempo while the mysterious instrumental sounds surrounded my mind and filled it with vivid images. As Fang has composed his pieces with great blend of both electronic sounds and different instrumentation, the piece already began with a unique sound that fueled my imagination.
For example, I immediately thought of another moon bright in color; the various mixes of electronic and xylophone-like sounds painted a picture of a bright but mellow color that stood out in a dark landscape in deep space. Then I imagined this moon slowly rising into view and began to revolve around a vast system of planets, especially as the title of the piece includes the word “moon”. In fact, it almost felt like I was watching the beginning of a science fiction movie, where I was being introduced to a new world within another galaxy. Fang’s inspiration of composing music is drawn from instrumentation from other countries and cultures, so in a way, it was like him taking me on a journey to some new world and introducing me to the music of this world’s culture.
The piece was very much like a lullaby; I felt relaxed and ready to fall asleep peacefully during the entire track and was curious to see where Fang’s beautiful, hypnotic sound was going to take my imagination next, whether in my subconscious or even if I was still awake. Fang has once composed music for a Balinese shadow theater production which was awarded a Citation of Excellence from the International Puppetry Association, thus I was giving a guarantee that Fang’s work was going to illustrate some more visuals in my mind as I drifted further away.
Fang’s work in this piece also made me reminisce about the times I played instrumental pieces on either of my instruments;I would always imagine some sort of scene going on in my mind depending on the key and tempo it was played in. Like a major scale with a fast tempo made me imagine something exciting happening or a minor key with a slow tempo made me see something sad.
Like Fang has done for this piece along with several others, the beauty of instrumental pieces is that they can still speak to anyone with what they can make them think about by just listening.
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