Lotus Rain

  • Composer Denise Mei Yan Hofmann
  • String Quartet

The contention of space both in there physical and spiritual realms is the idea that catapulted this string quartet which is directly inspired by the context of Nan Lian Garden, a Tang-style site placed in the dense urban environment alongside Diamond Hill’s public housing estates. The contention of space is explored in this piece through harmonic intervals and the active role of First Violin. The space is sacred; the sensitivity of this space is highlighted by how different parts of the garden react to water differently.

The distance between free-flowing rain at the bottom of the steps compared to intricately-controlled water0flow in rain chains hanging from temple roofs is mirrored by the interruption of the notes F and G after the first motivic fragment. These are notes that are close together, but have intervals nearly an octave apart. The intervals interrupt the opening fragment morph almost immediately and eventually take on an insistent rhythm, a deep ostinato which further emphasizes distance contrasted with close intervals of seconds. Such separation, put forth by an especially active First Violin, urges the remaining trio to be hyper-aware of such activity in the midst of limited space. The pieces progresses and concludes with an intentional use of octaves and clearer homophony. We are reminded that the worlds of the Garden and the urban cacophony of Diamond Hill co-exist with clear boundaries, yet have grown together in their identity and help each other survive – within this contention of space – an inescapable phenomenon in the city of Hong Kong.

World Premiere

Date Nov 24, 2016
Concert: Musicus Heritage 2016 - A Fiddler in the City: Improvising on Hong Kong with Pekka Kuusisto
Venue: Nan Lian Garden, Xiang Hai Xuan
Artists: Tapiola Sinfonietta String Quartet

Other Concerts

Musicus Fest in Kauniainen, Finland


Apr 6, 2017


Nya Paviljongen Concert Hall, Kauniainen, Finland


Tapiola Sinfonietta String Quartet