Thursday (8/4) on the Washington Post’s Express Night Out site, Christopher Porter writes, “Tan Dun is not the next John Williams. Sure, Tan won an Oscar for the soundtrack to 2000’s ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ and this opera master also scored the martial arts flicks ‘Hero’ (2002) and ‘The Banquet’ (2006). And, yes, the 53-year-old Hunan Province native is now conducting the multimedia concert ‘Martial Arts Trilogy’ with the National Symphony Orchestra, featuring his soundtrack music synced to film clips. But, as Tan explains, these movies simply fit into his grander, long-simmering plan to write a specific operatic cycle.” Tan explains, “After I composed the music for ‘Crouching Tiger,’ I decided to make a martial arts trilogy linked in the way like Wagner’s Ring Cycle opera. I’m an opera writer. I thought I should make a trilogy with a [single] instrument being the focus in each movie [soundtrack]. … The three instruments represent three girls, and they all sacrifice for love in different ways. In ‘The Banquet,’ the girl sacrifices her love for revenge and desire. In ‘Hero,’ it’s for patriotic love. And in ‘Crouching Tiger,’ it’s for the dream of wuxia [martial arts storytelling].”

Posted August 4, 2011