The Thief


jayshing-on-beachThis composition is inspired by a children’s story “The Ocean Thief”, written by Jefferson Goolsby.



Premiered on July 4th, 2016 in Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, The Thief  tells the story of a young girl whose beach-written story is stolen by the ocean, and her seagoing adventures as she fights to get it back.

Written for flute, violin and Electronics, this recording is from the premiere concert, performed by Molly Barth (Flutist) and Bryce Caster (Violinist).

All images by Jefferson Goolsby

Without Title

Without Title contains three Chinese songs as follows:

Without Title  無題
by Li Shang-yin 李商隱 (812?-858)

Last night’s stars, last night’s wind
West of the painted pavilion, east of the cassia hall.
Our bodies have no colorful phoenix-wings to fly side by side;
Our ears are linked to each other as if by the line in the magic horn.
As she passed the hook from another seat, the spring wine was warm;
Divided into teams, we guessed at riddles under the red candle’s light.
Alas, I had to answer the call of duty when the drum sounded,
And ride my horse to the Orchid Terrace, like a tumbleweed in the wind.

昨夜星辰昨夜風 畫樓西畔桂堂東
身無綵鳳雙飛翼 心有靈犀一點通
隔座送鉤春酒暖 分曹射覆蠟燈紅
嗟余聽鼓應官去 走馬蘭臺類轉蓬

The East wind sighs, the fine rains come,
Beyond the lotus pond, faint thunder.
A gold toad gnaws the lock. Open it, burn the incense.
A jade tiger pulls the rope. Draw from the well and escape.
Lady Chia peeped through the curtain at young Secretary Han;
Princess Fu left a pillow to the gifted Prince of Wei.
Never let your heart open with the spring flowers,
One inches of love is an inch of ashes.

颯颯東風細雨來 芙蓉塘外有輕雷
金蟾齧璅燒香入 玉虎牽絲汲井迴
賈氏窺簾韓掾少 宓妃留枕魏王才
春心莫共花爭發 一寸想思一寸灰

Bite back passions. Spring now sets.
Watch little by little the night turn around.
Echoes in the house; want to go up, dare not.
A glow behind the screen, wish to go through, can not.
It would hurt too much, the swallow on a hairpin;
Truly shame me, the phoenix on a mirror.
On the road back, sunrise over Heng-t’ang.
The blossoming if the morning-star shines farewell on the jeweled saddle.


Translated by Charles Angus Graham, adapted by Mei-ling Lee.

A Blooming Tree

A Blooming Tree [Excerpt]


The Bride to Be [Excerpt]


A blooming tree  is a composition in two movements. This piece was inspired by two Chinese poems written by 席慕蓉.

在我最美麗的時刻 為這
我已在佛前 求了五百年


當你走近 請你細听
朋友啊 那不是花瓣

A Blooming Tree
How to let you meet me
At my most beautiful moment?  For this,
I’ve prayed to Buddha for five hundred years,
For the predestined romance he could grant us.

Buddha turned me into a tree,
Growing by the road you would take,
Cautiously in full bloom in the sun,
Each flower was a wish I cherished in my pre-existence.
As you are near, please, listen carefully,
The quivering leaves are my zeal in waiting.
Yet as you walk pass by me, unseeing…
Behind you ,scattering on the ground,
Oh, my friend, are not petals
But my withered heart.



愛我 但是不要只因為

請愛我 因為我將與你為侶
像我能記得的那麼多 那麼好

愛我 趁青春年少

A Bride To Be

Love me, but not only because
Today, I am your bride
Not only because this fragrant wind,
The Europe’s sunlight in May

Please love me because I will be your companion
Spending together in the world of vicissitudes
Affections, like boundless sea
Waves, one comes after one,
No one can remember all of your,
As much as I could,
As tender as I would

Love me, when still young.

River Snow


This piece is based on the Chinese poem River Snow by Liu Zangyuan (773—819), writer and poet of the Tang Dynasty. The theme’s melody mirrors the tonal shifts that can be heard when the poem is recited in its original Chinese. I’ve translated the poem’s text as follows:

“A thousand mountains—no bird’s flight.

Ten thousand paths—no man’s trace.

Single boat, an old man, in a straw raincoat.

Alone, fishing, in the icy river. Snow.”






Rollo’s Escalandé



Rollo’s Escalandé begins with a forceful arpegiating figure on piano followed by a disjointed flute melody. The opening scherzo dance-like flute motif emphasizes a discontiguous chromatic motion.

The middle section is built around a prominent tremolo figure that moves like countless bubbles through the ocean. Again, a flute line (first decending, then ascending) moves across the octaves as if floating on air.

The final section is constructed using block chords forming a three-part line. Each line enters at a different point in time, vying to overpower the others. Meanwhile, several motifs from the earlier sections return to join the conflict. Toward the end these three divergent sections align, resolving

Dance Suite

Dance Suite for clarinet and dance is comprised of three short movements with two mini- interludes in between, which are designed as short breaks for the dancer.

As the subtitles suggest, each movement has its own character. This piece tries to catch various moods – sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy, sometimes jolly, and sometimes nutty.

This recording was performed Blake McGee (clarinetist) and Carrie Goodnight (dancer/choreographer).