“Music is the art of air. Only by making the air vibrate can music be produced. When Chia-Chen Chiang’s music is played, one can always sense the unique connection with the air and the strong vitality in it. The presence of oxygen stimulates the growth of everything, the flow of wind makes the seasons flow, the touch of air evokes a distant memory, and the heartbeat you hear when the music freezes in the air. With a breath of air, the music will give new nutrients to the listener’s life. The Origin speaks of the origin of creation and the origin of life.”
1. Bells from the Phoenix Sea / for Violin & Piano 07:10
Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major
2. Mov. I: Vivace con anima 06:46
3. Mov. II: Moderato-Allegretto-Moderato-Tempo 1. Movement 08:42
4. Mov. III: Tempo ad libitum-Allegro 07:11
5. Mov. IV: Allegro 06:56
6.Heartbeats Rhapsody / for Piano 08:27
Sonata for 4 Elements / for Piano
1. Mov. I: Wind 03:45
2. Mov. II: Fire 02:28
3. Mov. III: Water 04:21
4. Mov. IV: Earth 03:43
Prelude and Fugue in G Minor / for Piano
5. Prelude 02:20
6. Fugue 04:17
Sonata in 3 Movements / for Piano
7. Mov. I: White (Allegretto) 07:22
8. Mov. II: Red (Moderato) 06:48
9. Mov. III: Black (Allegro) 07:15
The origin of creation is an untraceable mystery, just as the origin of life is also an incredible mystery. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to create, in all forms. At the age of five, after just two months of learning the electric piano, I recorded my first composition, “Waves of the Sea,” using a faulty notation method. However, what I created at that time was not just music, but also stories I compiled with my brother day and night as a child. We always had endless stories to tell, on the road, in the car, late at night, and at the bedside. At first, he read storybooks to me, but later he was not satisfied with reading the stories written by others and began to make up his own stories for me. Subsequently, I also was not satisfied with listening to his stories, so I joined him in making up stories and created our own fantasy kingdom. We could make up stories for hours every day and tell them non-stop, much to the amazement of our parents. It continued until I was about twelve years old, when I started to get busier and busier with piano lessons and did not have enough time to work on stories with my brother. According to the law of conservation of energy, when anything seems to die, it continues to exist in another form. When I was twelve years old, I played a Waltz piece I had composed for my piano teacher, who liked it so much that he suggested I learn to compose. So with the support of my teachers and parents, I took my first composition class in my life, and I regained my crazy passion for composing that I once had when I was five years old and fell into the world of music creation. It was like a prophecy that my life is like a circle, always going round and round and eventually back to where I started.
Later, at the age of 15, I went to Germany to study piano at a conservatory, and composition became a constant fire burning inside me. I love the quote from the movie The English Patient: “The heart is an organ of fire.” I love to play the piano, but I also love composing. Without the guidance of a teacher, I have continued to compose over the years in Germany, and the process has been very exciting. Every year from 2009 to 2014, I would write and play a piano piece for my mentor professor on his birthday or at Christmas as a holiday gift. The teacher was very happy at first, but later on in the lesson, he often told me, “Don’t always play the piano like a composer, but play the piano like a pianist.” I was worried that I would be misunderstood by my teachers as not focusing on the most important thing. Although I still loved to play the piano and had been practicing hard all along the way, I did not write a single note for several years since the winter of 2014 due to my teacher’s supervision of my piano major and a series of other life consequences.
Those were the most difficult and lonely years of my life. I suffered from a family issue that caused me to have little contact with my family in Taiwan for three to four years, domestic violence from my then-boyfriend, and a half-month hospitalization due to a skin condition caused by a collapsed immune system. After being discharged from the hospital, I took a semester off from school for the first time in my life to recover from my illness. It was really hard back then when I did not compose music to express my feeling. At the beginning of 2018, I started composing again. From that moment on, it took me years to find myself, little by little. Now my studies in Germany have come to a successful end. Life is like a river, and it does not matter where it goes. It is when I look back on the process, which is like a winding river, the unique line and rhythm are the most beautiful things. Once I only cared about results, but then I realized that life is a process, and the process comes from the unpredictable creation of each moment.
Every philosopher and every religion from ancient times to the present has been trying to answer a question: “What is the meaning of life? There was a time when I lived like a hermit and all I had with me every day were a pen and a piece of paper. The seemingly monotonous life has given me the highest sense of mission in life: to create. It seems that there is a voice in my ears saying, “No matter how many tears you shed on your way here, and no matter how many rugged and lonely paths you walked through for decades, you don’t need to seek others’ understanding, and you don’t need to trace the cause of the pain, you just need to compose. Your answers are on the tip of your pen and on your paper. You were born to create, and there is no need to search. You are the origin.
There are days when I don’t seem to exist, but I am transformed into a big mountain.
There are days when I don’t seem to exist, but I turn into an ocean.
The nature is my eternal home and my eternal teacher.
I came from the dust, and eventually I will return to the dust.
In this seemingly weak body, there is a heart full of love and passion for everything.
Origin is a love letter dedicated to the source of all things.
Photograph by Sören L. Schirmer
1. Bells from the Phoenix Sea
for Violin and Piano
Legend has it that the continent of Atlantis sank to the bottom of the sea and is no longer to be found. Until the church bells ring and the hymns are heard from the sea, we witness the rebirth of the relics of our homeland at sea level. When the music ends, the myth ceases, and the church quietly sinks, we still do not want to wake up from our dreams. This piece pays tribute to the French composer Debussy. However, here I have reinterpreted the story of Atlantis. Phoenix is the divine bird of rebirth in the Eastern legend. When the bells ring, and in the sea of God, the island where the phoenixes rest slowly rises, and the phoenixes hover over it like kings, inviolable and yet free. They shine, but never proud. They are low-key and yet fearless. You will never be able to find them, and you can only let them come to you. If you are the bravest being like a phoenix, they will always find you. It is said that the laws of everything resonate in the same frequency.
2. Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major
for Violin and Piano
This piece is dedicated to violinist Qingzhu Weng, the world live premiere of this piece, as well as the violinist and co-producer of this album. Qingzhu is the godfather of this piece. Without him this piece would not have existed. I am forever grateful for all that he has brought to me and all that we have created together.
I. Vivace con anima
II. Moderato-Allegretto-Moderato-Tempo 1. Movement
III. Tempo ad libitum-Allegro
3. Heartbeats Rhapsody
This piece was written in the summer when I was free from the threat of violence and my heart could finally start beating again. It is dedicated to life, to myself, and to all those who have risen from the disaster to live bravely again.
4. Sonata for 4 Elements
The theme is dedicated to the world as seen by the ancients, when everything was made up of these four elements, and human was no exception:
5. Prelude and Fugue in G Minor
It was written in the middle of the night when I returned home after having dinner with my friends. It was late at night I deeply felt that people are all lonely. I came alone, I went alone, and I enjoyed that solitude. At 1:30 a.m., I began to form the main theme of Fugue on paper. This piece is interesting in that the fugue was written before the prelude.
6. Sonata in 3 Movements- White, Red, Black
I. White (Allegretto): It is a tribute to tradition, with classical sonata structures and early romantic harmonies. Tradition is always at the root of our work.
II. Red (Moderato): Existentialism says that humans are irrational. Red is our desire and our search for self.
III. Black (Allegro): The world is spinning at high speed. Can people not be run over by machines? You are constantly running and running forward, but where are you going? If you can’t run away, stop and face it. If the tradition collapses and the established world is no more there, do you have the courage to face the darkness?