Augusta Read Thomas: Qì - for four percussionists playing two marimbas - Score and Parts [Printed Music]
Qì is the circulating vital life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things. In traditional Chinese culture qì or ch'i, or ki in Korean culture and ki in Japanese culture, is an active principle forming part of any living thing. qì literally translates as "breath" or "air", and figuratively as. "material energy", "life force" or "energy flow". Concepts similar to qì can be found in many cultures: prana in Hinduism (and elsewhere in Indian culture), chi in the Igbo religion, pneuma in ancient Greece, mana in Hawaiian culture, lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, manitou in the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, ruah in Jewish culture, and "vital energy" in Western philosophy. Dedicated with admiration and gratitude to those who commissioned the work and to Third Coast Percussion.
Chi is based on the Chinese concept of life force. There was plenty of life force running through this concise work, which engaged. Spektral played it with obvious affection, and Chi said a lot in less than 15 minutes. I’d welcome the chance to hear it again, as well as more from Thomas. Leslie Gerber, The Boston Musical Intelligencer