What is out of Peking Opera?
1. The first three bars of this piece are a direct quotation from the 'jing hu’ fiddling of Peking Opera. This is the seed - it unfolds, becomes increasingly abstract, expressionistic, developing power, beauty, and longing.
2. I began this piece when I first came to New York and left behind the ancient continuity of Chinese society. I saw new things, and began to make connections between my own thoughts and the rest of the world. I felt refreshed, lamenting. I started to see my past more clearly. But I'm still not sure if "out of" means farther away, or closer?
In 1987, Out of Peking Opera was written in ambivalence, confronting serialism, being attracted yet doubting that it was the way for me. A second operation was necessary, and finally in 1994 it was completed and out of my mind.
-- Tan Dun