The Hong Kong Philharmonic Bassoonists Perform “Colored Stones” Smoky Quartz by Jenni Brandon

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Bassoonists perform “Colored Stones,” Smoky Quartz by Jenni Brandon on October 24, 2021, 3:00pm, at the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre, Hong Kong University.  The performers are Benjamin Moermond, Toby Chan, Vance Lee, Fox Chan King-hei, and Adam Treverton Jones Contrabassoon. The program is:

  • Jenni BRANDON Colored Stones: Smoky Quartz
  • Francisco MIGNONE Sonata no. 1 for Two Bassoons
  • Erwin SCHULHOFF Bassnachtigal (Bass Nightingale)
  • Dai FUJIKURA Following
  • Peter TANG Humoresque (World Premiere)
  • Victor BRUNS Kleine Suite no. 1, op. 55
  • DEBUSSY Girl with the Flaxen Hair
  • MUSSORGSKY Selections from Pictures at an Exhibition

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, in collaboration with the Hong Kong University MUSE, is delighted to showcase the bassoonists of the HK Phil, as part of this chamber music series spotlighting different sections of the orchestra. This varied program gives the chance to know the bassoon more closely, with its large range of colors, textures and techniques. In addition to lively original compositions for bassoon ensembles of two to five players, the program features work for solo bassoon and solo contrabassoon, as well as a world premiere by HKU composer Peter Tang. A selection of movements from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition arranged for five bassoons will conclude the performance.

Colored Stones for solo bassoon tells the story of three stones: smoky quartz, lapis lazuli, and tiger’s eye. Some cultures and spiritual practices believe these stones have powerful qualities such as the ability to heal, protect, and offer spiritual guidance. The bassoon explores these beautiful stones’ unique qualities.

Smoky Quartz – An incredibly grounding stone, this smoky brown stone transforms and diffuses negative energy. The bassoon changes from a sense of grounding to playfulness, exploring this balance of energy. In the end, it always finds its way back to telling the story of the grounding quality of the stone.

Lapis Lazuli – Prized for its colors, this deep blue stone was used by kings and queens in paintings and ceremonial robes. Believed to help foster truthful expression and communication, it supports the immune system and brings peace. The bassoon explores the luxurious blue color, mixing in flashes of gold found in the stone.

Tiger’s Eye – Tiger’s eye, a golden brown to deep red stone, is very grounding and can bring luck and ward off evil. The bassoon is sometimes “protective and seeing,” moving quickly to remove the look of the “evil eye” and other times moving dreamily through an ancient landscape of protective energy.

It was an honor to be chosen as the winner of the 2014 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition and to have this work premiered by Susan Nelson.

This work is available for purchase through Imagine Music Publishing.