Li-Ying Wu Interview - The Truth Will Set You Free

2019-05-16
On 5 June the eminent Ensemble Experimental will premiere a new piece by Li-Ying Wu. We asked her a few questions about the new piece, The Truth Will Set You Free, combining acoustic and electronic sounds.

Ensemble Experimental. Photo: Anja Limbrunner
Edition·S: What can you tell us about the idea behind the piece 'The Truth Will Set You Free', and what lies in the title?
Li-Ying Wu: "The idea and inspiration for the piece actually come from one of my previous works: The piece 'Small Talk - SmallTalk' that I wrote for Athelas Sinfonietta last year. That is a piece which, as the title suggests, is filled with a lot of "small talk" - a myriad of quiet mumbling. I felt that part of the material in 'Small Talk - SmallTalk' could be explored more. Furthermore, I wanted to write a new piece that like 'Small Talk - SmallTalk' refers to the act of talking to each other, communicating.

'The title The Truth Will Set You Free', derives from the Bible, from the Gospel of John, but here it does not have a religious meaning. The title refers to the challenge we currently have with fake news: It can really be quite difficult to figure out what is true and false in all the media noise, we are surrounded by. In short, you could say that the work springs from and reflects upon a personal nuisance of mine."

Did writing for Ensemble Experimental give you certain possibilities or approaches, and can you say something about the aesthetics of the work?
"Ensemble Experimental and SWR Experimentalstudio are legendary when it comes to their work with electronic sources of sound, so obviously I wanted to work with that. Working with electronics was also an obvious choice in relation to the source of inspiration.

In order to compose the "real" sound of electronic music together with the acoustic instruments, I have changed my approached to working with electronic music. Unlike most of my previous works including electronics, I did not want to use the computer as the electronic sound source. I wanted to use "real" sound sources played by musicians and filter and manipulate these through the use of contact microphones. This work has given me a different approach that I want to delve into more in terms of combining electronic and acoustic sounds."

What kind of experience can the audience expect?
"Hopefully, they will experience a piece of music where the "truth" will turn up in places where you wouldn't normally expect to find it."

Li-Ying Wu: The Truth Will Set You Free
Ensemble Experimental
Wednesday 5 June 19.30
Frederiksberg Church (DK)
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