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the orient 

a reacquisition of a fantasy

for solo piano

Purchase the orient full score HERE.*

Read about the orient in the Chicago Reader HERE.

Year: 2023

Length: 45 minutes

written for premiere at Constellation Chicago, April 30th, 2023, in partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago


*A portion of all score sales for the month of May will benefit Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago.


I. Opening (like you're high on opium)

II. Assimilation (like you're trying to regain what's lost) 

III. Sunrise (like you're building a railroad)

IV. Vincent (like you got chased down with a baseball bat)

V. Closing (like you refuse to be finished)

Excerpt from Program Notes:

The entire work is built off of the pitch content of the “Asian riff,” popular in video games, movies, and commercial music since the 1800s. It has been used to refer to Asia, and in particular, East Asia, from the outside perspective of the West. The musical theme is only 3 notes, derived from the five-note pentatonic scale. The rhythm is square and clunky, with sixteenth notes, predictably followed by eighth notes. The theme often used to refer to martial art, and other stereotypically Asian things, is a mocking reduction of a continent's worth of culture.

Shi-An Costello is a BMI composer. All rights reserved.

© 2023

Performance History:

April 30th, 2023: Constellation Chicago (Shi-An Costello, piano)

the orient (4/30/2023 world premiere)
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