Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun and the JACK Quartet's first recording collaboration, the album A Cockroach's Tarantella, is now available on Modern Sky Records.
A Cockroach's Tarantella features two versions of the title piece, written by Du Yun for string quartet and spoken narrative and performed by JACK and with the composer narrating: one in English and one in Chinese. Also included are Du Yun's string quartet Tattooed in Snow, written in 2014, and two improvisations: Epilogue and Prologue. The Epilogue is based on a field recording by a news reporter, Yang Nan, of a Wuhan, China market on the first day it opened after lockdown in March 2020.
Du Yun reflects on the origin of A Cockroach's Tarantella: "In 2004, I wrote my first chamber opera, Zolle, which was a story on the afterlife. As I was finishing Zolle, I fabricated another piece that would serve as a life-before fable, which became A Cockroach's Tarantella. At this time, I was living in a government subsidized student apartment. When I would take breaks from my work, particularly in the early hours, I would talk to the many cockroaches that shared my residence. Both stories are steeped in humankind's ubiquitous fascination with regression, the conflict of belonging and alienation, and the resurrection archetype."
Du Yun's previous recording project, Dinosaur Scar with the International Contemporary Ensemble, received a 2019 Grammy nomination in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition for her piece Air Glow.
Listen to the album