Chen: Tomorrow's Promise

Lakeview Orchestra will perform Chen’s Tomorrow’s Promise on Tuesday, April 30th at 7:30PM at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Tomorrow’s Promise (2018)
Jia Jie Chen (b. 1995)

At only 24 years of age, and with no formal musical education, Jia Jie Chen has composed works already performed by community and school orchestras around the United States. His musical style is inspired by the background tracks to computer games. This genre of music, which tends to restate the main theme throughout the work with little alteration, provides an additional texture to gamers, so that they might further enjoy the gaming experience. Although Chen feels beholden to no particular compositional style, he writes in a measured, conservative, and tonal form, with respect to both his melodic content and to his harmonic development.

Tomorrow’s Promise, written in 2018 just after Chen graduated from pharmacy school, explores the idea that although contemporary events may be uncertain or even chaotic, hope endures that structure and normalcy will return. This hope is coupled with a reassurance of self, even in the face of a new challenge. For Chen, this challenge was the realization that after school comes the “real world,” and that self-reliance is key to personal success.

Written in 7/8 meter, the piece intentionally exhibits a forward momentum through the constant underlying rhythmic pattern in the percussion, and it intended to have a “newsreel feel.” Though the percussion maintains a sense of urgency throughout, the brass and low strings counter with a feeling of sustained calm amidst interjected arpeggios. The work concludes in a calm and collected manner, symbolically demonstrating that structure ultimately prevails over chaos.

Lakeview Orchestra will perform Chen’s Tomorrow’s Promise on April 30th, 2019: Learn More or Get Tickets

Program Notes by Luke Smith.

Luke Smith