Haengma for string quartet (2011)
Haengma (행마/行馬) is a Korean word, which literally means “moving horse.” It is used in the game of Go to describe how the stones move on a Go board. (Go is originated from Ancient China, where it is known as Weiqi). There are different moves to connect stones across the Go board. Some of the connections are strong but slow, while others are just the opposite. For instance, placing stones right next to each other creates strong connections; therefore, these stones are more likely to “live” through invasions. Other moves such as the “two-space jump” or “diagonal jump” inflict larger influence across the Go board, but are more vulnerable to attacks. A Go player’s goal is to balance the moves accordingly and occupy more “territories” than his/her opponent. These concepts are borrowed to construct this piece, where intervals are chosen to create a balanced spectrum of tension and resolution. Go fights are often initiated by placing stones close to the opponents’, and they are symbolized by close intervals in the music, thus creating dispute and tension. Some Go games can end peacefully, while others do not without fights and sacrifices. What kind of a Go game does this piece represent?
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