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This is the first concerto that I have ever written. Brett Kelly, the Artistic Director of the Academy of Melbourne, suggested that I write it for Robert Clarke, principal percussionist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. To show my appreciation for his support, I have dedicated the piece to the Academy of Melbourne.
This piece has three movements, and has also retained other characteristics of the traditional concerto such as virtuosity in the solo part, the symphonic development of the orchestral part, and a cadenza (here mostly with the timpanist).
I have always been fascinated by Western classical music - by its organisation, discipline and formularisation. These qualities also belong to Chinese folk music. To some people they mean limitation and the end of creation, but I think they are important and give the composer still greater scope for freedom and creativity by providing a firm base from which to work.
While writing this piece, I adopted the Chinese method of ornamenting a pre-existing piece until it becomes a new one. To make more interesting listening I leave the audience to guess what the original pieces were for each of the movements. They are all well-known works from the Western tradition.