This week’s New Music Monday features music by Rachel Whelan!
In addition to composing, Rachel is also a flutist and she is also assistant director of Treefalls: New Music Series (501c3) in Spartanburg, SC, which is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary chamber music written by living, active composers.
The piece featured this week, mountain • water • traveler (山水客), is a three-movement flute sonata based on Whelan’s experience in an open-air teahouse in Maokong, Taipei, Taiwan. Each movement makes reference to each of the three characters in the teahouse’s name: 山, 水, and 客. The first movement, 山 (mountain) draws inspiration from the stunning mountain-top view from the tea house. 水 (water) refers to both the misty mountain rain and pouring of water to prepare tea. The final movement, 客 (traveler) draws from the many possible interpretations of the character, that could mean traveler, customer, guest, or visitor, depicting how Whelan “made [her] way through in this lovely little island as a traveler, open to the joy and wonderment that travel and adventure can bring.”