Denise Mei Yan Hofmann
(IC2017 – Hong Kong)
Denise Mei Yan Hofmann was born in Hong Kong. Denise was raised in Seoul, Bangkok, Istanbul and Hong Kong. Denise started playing guitar at age 10, captivated, she started improvising shortly thereafter. However, Denise only decided to pursue music seriously upon graduation from Middlebury College, where she received a B.A. in Chinese history. Denise received her M.M. from Mannes College of music under the tutelage of Lowell Liebermann. Denise’s music has been played at the National Opera Center, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Spectrum and Mannes College of Music in NYC; the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore; HellHOT!, a Hong Kong New Music Festival; the International Dance Festival in Bangkok Thailand. Denise arranged the jazz standard Georgia on my Mind for the Johnny Rodgers Band, performed by the Moscow Symphony string section in June 2013. She has written incidental music for 3 theatre productions including NYC production Harriman-Baines at Theatre for the New City. Denise was commissioned by the Hong Kong Composer’s Guild to compose a trio for SOUND-IMAGination: Hong Kong Postcards in 2014.
In 2016, Denise awarded residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts and the Mannes College Dean’s Award.
The Ink Dark Moon
The Ink Dark Moon song cycle is set to a collection of Japanese love poems written in the Ancient Japanese court by Izumi Shikibu during the first century. My roommate, who is a writer, had The Ink Dark Moon lying around the apartment for weeks before I perused the poems a few at a time, to avoid being emotionally overwhelmed. With a sense of nostalgia and hopelessness, the theme of love had and love lost permeated its pages. I was astounded by the poems’ powerful brevity and use of language; one can only imagine how much more moving they are in the original Japanese.
I set In this world… first. Caught by the image of love staining our lives, I never fully reconcile any text sung to the piano music.