Secret Fan. Dressing for the Wedding. Longing for her Sister. Grandmother’s Echo.
These are some of the intriguing titles of the films in Chinese composer Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Microfilms, Harp, and Orchestra. The Philadelphia Orchestra and Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen give the U.S. premiere of the multi-media composition this week. “They’re very powerful. Very emotional,” says Hainen of the films, which each depict a rite of passage. “And just beautiful. Beautiful events. Tan Dun has managed to capture the essence of this time and this place through this music and through this footage.” She adds, “He’s a wonderful, wonderful composer. There’s never been anything like it, I can tell you that.”