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Who Is Now Silent? 

27 & 28.11.2020

Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

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Hear our planet’s wild beauty and power - and be inspired to fight to help protect it. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams, who spent his youth in the wilds of Alaska as an environmental activist, writes music deeply in tune with the natural world. Gregor Mayrhofer’s Insect Concerto, written to create awareness about a worldwide decline of insect populations, highlights a special urgency about biodiversity loss and its impact on our ecosystem.


John Luther Adams: there is no one, not even the wind (2017)  Asian Premiere

Gregor A. Mayrhofer: Insect Concerto - Ensemble version (2019)  Asian Premiere

Hong Kong New Music Ensemble

Vicky Shin, Conductor


John Luther Adams: there is no one, not even the wind (2017)

After living in Alaska for much of my life, I now make my home in the Sonoran Desert.


there is no one, not even the wind comes directly from my experience of the space and solitude, the stillness and light of the desert.


Like all my recent music, this piece embraces layered time and physical space as central elements. The instruments are widely dispersed, and there are six simultaneous tempos.


The title is a variation on words of the great Mexican poet Octavio Paz. His poem Piedra Nativa (Native Stone) contains this line:


No hay nadie no siquiera tú mismo  (which translates: “There is no one, not even yourself”).


I take this one step further and remove not only myself, but even that very last person – the wind.

(programme notes by composer)

Conductor - Vicky Shin 

Flute 1 - Angus Lee

Flute 2 - Marco Leung *

Violin - Euna Kim 

Viola - Rebecca Tang **

Violoncello - Wong Tsz To *

Contrabass - Simon Hui 

Piano - Linda Yim 

Percussion 1 - Matthew Lau 

Percussion 2 - Karen Yu * 

Gregor A. Mayrhofer: Insect Concerto - Ensemble version (2019) 

Despite appearing to be comical in nature, Gregor Mayrhofer’s Insect Concerto is a profound reflection on the impact human activities has had on the endangerment of insects. Inspired by the severe situation of insects in his native Germany, Mayrhofer researched and transcribed a variety of insect calls into rhythmic motifs and melodic fragments – a hybrid “musical language, which links the noisy world of the insect swarm with our traditional instruments” – forming the foundations of this Concerto. The work, as Mayrhofer emphasises, is an appeal to the listeners, to reconnect with the natural world around us, one that is vanishing at an alarming rate.

(Text: Angus Lee, edited from notes by the composer)

Conductor - Vicky Shin 

Piccolo - Angus Lee 

Oboe - Danica Cheng *

Clarinet - Linus Fung **

Bassoon - Leung Tak Wing 

Horn - Andrew Au-Yeung *

Trumpet - Edwin Wong **

Trombone - Ben Pelletier *

Tuba - Gary Chong *

Harp - Amy Tam *

Percussion - Matthew Lau 

Percussion - Karen Yu *

Violin Ia - Euna Kim 

Violin Ib - Kitty Cheung *

Violin IIa - Patrick Yim 

Violin IIb - Wei Ningyi *

Viola Ia - William Lane 

Viola Ib - Rebecca Tang **

Violoncello 1 - Wong Tsz To *

Violoncello 2 - Pun Chak Yin *

Contrabass - Simon Hui 

> Detailed Musicians Biographies

*Guest Artist  **Artistic Intern

The Artistic Internship Scheme is supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

*After the concert on 27 November (Friday), Angus Lee, HKNME's Programme Manager, will join Gregor Mayrhofer over the internet in a meet-the-artist session, discussing the inspirations and ideas for the Insect Concerto, as well as the pressing issues of environmental preservation. 


Venue Partners:


The content of this programme does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the Caravanserais - Sonic Ecology only, but does not otherwise take part in it.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials/activities (or by members of the GRANTEE’s team) are those of the organisers of Caravanserais - Sonic Ecology only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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