Dai Wei

(IC2019 - China)

Dai Wei

Composer Fellow

Dai Wei is originally from China. Her musical journey navigates in the spaces between east and west, classical and pop, electronic and acoustic, innovation and tradition. She often draws from eastern philosophy and aesthetics to create works with contemporary resonance, and reflect a introspection on how these multidimensional conflict and tension can create and inhabit worlds of their own. Her artistry is nourished by the Asian and Chinese Ethnic culture in many different ways. Being as an experimental vocalist, she performs herself as a Khoomei throat singer in her recent compositions, through which are filtered by different experiences and background as a calling that transcends genres, races and labels.

Among the four years in the United States, she has received commissions and collaborations from orchestras and ensembles including Utah Symphony Orchestra, Fifth House Ensemble, Merz Trio, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, the Rock School of Ballet in Philadelphia, Quartetto Indaco String Quartet, STACKS Duo, and Lilac 94.

Wei has collaborated with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia under the direction of Dirk Brossé for two consecutive years. As the opening of Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia’s 2017/18 season concert at Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, she was commissioned and performed herself as the vocalist of the chamber orchestra work dedicated to Bernstein’s 100th anniversary.  She has also performed her own compositions in various venues, such as New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, International Computer Music Conference, World Saxophone Congress and North American Saxophone Alliance.

Wei is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studies with Jennifer Higdon, David Ludwig and Richard Danielpour.  She earned an M.M. in Music Composition in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.M. in Music Composition at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in China.

Featured Work

Mandalas in the Rubble

The piece was inspired during a trip I took to Nepal this summer. I noticed that most of the temples are constructed on a series of concentric circles or squares with a broad base and numerous tops that gradually narrow. Unfortunately, the country was devastated by earthquake in 2015. Many of the constructions were either badly damage or completely destroyed, yet the mandala-shaped bases of these structures remained intact.

What really strike me was witnessing Nepali people coming to sit on the debris every night—worship with genuine smiles and hope. As if disaster, poverty, pollution even time are phenomenal existence. Nepali deeply rooted in their being.

In Mandalas In The Rubble, I wanted to create a free-flowing soundscape that maintaining a sporadic texture through out the piece, yet it gradually evolves into a peaceful non-violent cohesiveness. It is meant to symbolize how shattered and fragmentized thing have a way of turning themselves into strength and beauty without losing their natural being.

-Dai Wei