Zhuoyuan (Michael) Li – Absolute Winner, Composition

Zhuoyuan (Michael) Li – my artistic biography:

I was born in 2006 in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, China, where I spent my childhood and elementary school years. Throughout my primary education, I dedicated myself to learning the piano during my free time and achieved the level of Grade 10 (Amateur) by the time of my elementary graduation.

In the eighth grade, a chance encounter during a music class piqued my interest in composition and arrangement, leading to a deep fascination with this field. I taught myself through online resources and sought advice from industry professionals, enhancing my compositional skills. To better understand string instruments and improve my composing and orchestrating skills, I devoted two years to studying the viola.

On Bilibili, a well-known Chinese video-sharing website, I share my compositions and songwriting, attracting nearly eight thousand followers.

I have composed scores for multiple Chinese TV and radio dramas, such as “Lie Huo Jiao Chou” and “Bu Tian Gang”, gaining insight into the commercial music market.

My pop songs and arrangements have achieved commendable results in competitions, winning praise and leading to the release of my album after participating in contests organised by an institution (Up Chord) in China.

I also possess a wealth of collaborative experience with symphony orchestras, string ensembles, and finest musicians from different countries. Prestigious groups such as the “Budapest Scoring Orchestra,” “International Principal Philharmonic Orchestra”, and “Starliner Strings”, and “Excelsia Chamber Orchestra” have performed my compositional works, and I have extensive experience as a supervising producer for live recordings.

Winning videos:

Zhouyuan Li – Unleash – performed by International Principal Philharmonic Orchestra
When the belly feels uneasy, using the restroom becomes a distressing task. I utilised the concept of the “twelve-tone technique” to capture the sentiment of those moments. I also introduced the concepts of quarter tones, all in an effort to reduce the sense of tonality and rhythm, thus evoking in the listener an experience of timelessness. In the latter half of the piece, I structured time signatures using the Fibonacci sequence. The sudden forte tutti in measure 39 symbolises the theme of “unleashing.” The persistent striking of eighth notes on a Wood Block served as a metaphor for the “passage of time.” Moreover, I incorporated an array of “extended techniques” to delve into the uncharted sonic possibilities of acoustic instruments.

Zhouyuan Li – Genesis of a Voyage, performed by Budapest Scoring Orchestra
The inspiration for this composition stemmed from my voyage to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. As the ship ventured into the turbulent depths of the ocean, it began to sway vehemently, inducing within me an overwhelming sense of nausea. Thus, I composed this piece, utilising the structure of “theme and variations.”
The thematic development begins in D Major within a 4/4 time signature. a stable rhythm and a harmonious key set a cheerful backdrop for the journey, as passengers harboured a sense of curiosity and longing for the unknown voyage ahead. Here, I depicted the anticipation of the Reef’s splendid vistas. At measure 28, it transitions to d minor and concurrently alters the metre to 6/8, creating a contrast in both key and rhythmic feel, symbolises the ship’s entry into the churning depths. Subsequently, the theme modulates to g minor and reverts to a 4/4 metre. At measure 65, I endeavoured to immerse the listener in the tense struggle between the ship and the ferocious waves. Here, the music reaches the climax, aspiring to convey the arduous challenges inherent in travel. I employed the technique of ‘augmentation’ to expand the theme. To conclude, the theme reemerges, transposed to B-flat Major, with the tempo doubling, thus reinstating the initial thematic material in a new key and at an accelerated pace, signifying the ship’s baptism by the waves and its tranquil arrival at the destination.


BiliBili page: https://b23.tv/A8leqdt
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/@Michael-wm5qg