Rachel C. Walker writes poetic, timbre-sensitive works drawing from her ongoing immersion in and research on Chinese folk music, musical time, and language. Her pieces have been heard across the US, China, Sweden, Portugal, Canada, and Australia, with major performances and commissions from the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, the Chinese Bamboo Flute Orchestra, NANOWorks Opera, Svensk Musikvår, percussionists Allen Otte, Zhang Yongyun, Carlos Camacho and Colleen Phelps, the Butter Quartet (NL), and pipa virtuoso Xia YuYan.
As the recipient of multiple grants to China and Taiwan, she has studied and written about traditional and contemporary music, while simultaneously composing dynamic new works for Chinese and Western instruments. Her writings have been published by NewMusicBox and Southwest China Normal University Press, as well as presented in guest lectures at Harvard University (2016 Perspectives on Chinese Contemporary Music Conference), Australian National University (2017 Women in the Creative Arts Conference), Tsinghua University (2018), Shandong University (2018), and the China Conservatory (2015). As the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Cincinnati Soundbox, she curates concerts blending the new music scene in Cincinnati with those of other cities around the world.
Rachel studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Allen Otte and Joel Hoffman, and at the China Conservatory of Music (中国音乐学院), where she was a Visiting Scholar advised by Gao Weijie (高为杰). She was a 2018 a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Composer website: http://www.rachelcwalker.com
the impression remains, for sheng, yangqin and toy piano.
余音绕梁 (yu yin rao liang — lingering filaments of sound spiraling around the beams) is a phrase which has captured my imagination since I first came to China. Philosophers and performers of guqin believed that sound stops not with resonance, but continues on into the æther; at any given moment, one is thus performing in direct conversation sounds heard and imagined. I met sheng virtuoso Li Yi Fan in 2015. She invited me to write a work for her and began to teach me about her instrument over the course of the following two years. This work is dedicated to her.
Featured in Drama Waves (June 2019)