On the Arch of a Monochrome Rainbow

Program Notes
On the Arch of a Monochrome Rainbow
Inspired by Nancy Rubins’ sculpture Monochrome for Austin
for clarinet and electronics


On the Arch of a Monochrome Rainbow for clarinet and cello was inspired by Nancy Rubins' sculpture "Monochrome," which is displayed on the UT Austin campus. "Monochrome" stands nearly 50 feet high and stretches across 24th Street. It comprises around 75 Kayaks, canoes, and small boats, arranged together to form a giant silver tree, and has become a significant landmark in Austin, TX.

"Monochrome" develops a sense of mass and scale that is accompanied with true grace. Balance becomes the main theme of the sculpture.

The premiere of this piece will be in the area of the sculpture. The clarinetist stands under the canopy of "Monochrome," where a bouquet of aluminum canoes and boats blossoms over a busy pedestrian intersection on the University of Texas campus. The sculpture accompanies the tall trees on the sidewalk, mixing with nature. There are many extended techniques I use for clarinet solo, such as large scale glissando, bending tone, multiphonic techniques, etc. These create a very interesting sound palette, which become the source of the electronic sound. Sometimes it’s gentle and beautiful, sometimes it’s odd and harsh, sometimes it’s aggressive and overwhelming, sometimes it’s colorful and joyful, just like nature. How do we keep the balance in the world to continue to live along with nature? How do we enjoy the different shades of nature, and be part of it? It just like dancing on the arch of a monochrome rainbow. It’s overwhelming and also joyful.

Biographical Sketch
Dr. Yuanyuan (Kay) Heis a composer and video artist with roots in China. Her works often explore and intertwine various forms of media to create unique audiovisual experiences that engage the audience. Many of her works involve collaborations with choreographers, dancers, video artists, audio technicians, and stage lighting and design artists. As a multimedia composer, she is very active in the music community. Kay serves as the Creative Director for Electronic Music Midwest (EMM), which is an annual music festival dedicated to programming a wide variety of electroacoustic music and providing high quality electronic media performances. She is also the founder and Director of the Austin, TX-based Turn Up Multimedia Festival for Women Artists, which works to promote women composers, performers, and visual artists. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, where she teaches composition, electro-acoustic music, and orchestration.

During her career, Kay has won many awards and been selected for many performances in the U.S. and abroad. Of note, her piano trio Imprint of the Spring Breeze ​won the grand prize at the 2nd ACC International Composition Competition in 2017 (Gwangju, South Korea). ISCM selected the flute and electronics piece On the Pivot of an Abandoned Carouselfor its 2016 World Music Days (Tongyeong, South Korea). Passeig de Grácia for orchestra was selected for the 2015 ACO Underwood New Music Readings (New York, NY). On the Threshold of a Drizzly Reality for cello and electronics was selected for 2014 performances at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Athens, Greece and the Root Signals music festival (Jacksonville, Florida). Shadow of Dewdrops was selected as a finalist for TICF2015 (Bangkok, Thailand) and the 2014 installment of Gamma UT (Austin, TX). Legends of Old Peking won the 2012 Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composition Competition. Dying Away won the 2011 DuoSolo Emerging Composer Competition (Cortona, Italy). And, Destiny of Sputnik was chosen for the 2011 Beijing Modern Music Festival Young Composers Project.

Kay earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and her Master of Music degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied under Dr. Russell Pinkston and Dr. Yevgeniy Sharlat.

Performer Biographical Sketch
Winnie Fan (Shih-Wen Fan) received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance at The University of Texas at Austin in 2015. As a solo clarinetist and chamber musician, Winnie has performed in the United States, Taiwan, China, Japan, and United Kingdom. She joined the Round Rock Symphony as Principal Clarinet in 2013 and has been invited to perform with many professional orchestras in Taiwan and the United States.

Winnie is an active participant in various summer festivals has also won numerous competitions, such as first prize in the 2014 Brevard Music Center concerto competition, first prize in the 2013 Montecito International Music Festival solo competition, second prize in the 2014 International Clarinet Association Orchestral Audition competition, and the 2013 South Central and Texas winner of the Music Teacher National Association (MTNA).

Winnie has collaborated with many student and professional ensembles. As an advocate of new music, she has worked extensively with composers from around the world. Part of her doctoral studies, she explored the relationship between composers and performers based on Kenji Bunch’s Cookbook. She has premiered numerous works, such as On the Arch of a Monochrome Rainbow by
Yuanyuan (Kay) He (2016), Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra by Michael Miculka (2015), opera A Woman in Morocco by Daron Hagen (2013), and April Snow by Peiying Yuan (2012).

A native Taiwanese, Winnie is originally from Taipei, Taiwan. She moved to the United States in 2010, where she received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music from The University of Texas at Austin, her Bachelor of Music from the Taipei National University of the Arts. Her former clarinet teachers include Nathan Williams, Richie Hawley, Steve Cohen, Alexander (Sasha) Potiomkin, Wei-Leng William Chen, Pei-Yun Lin, and Eugenia Jin. Winnie currently maintains a large private studio in the Greater Houston Area, Texas.