C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

D0 note (18.35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

C0 note (16,35 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

F0 note (21.83 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

G0 note (24.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

A0 note (27.50 Hz) — vibrating on liquid surface

Yau, May-kay: Dry Tears 



Basic information

  • Title: 
    Dry Tears
  • Composer: 
  • Duration (in minutes): 
  • Year of composition: 
  • First performance (year): 
  • First performance (performers): 
    Portland, Oregon
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  • Program notes: 

    The string quartet is inspired by Jewish author, Nechama Tec’s ‘Dry Tears’. It is a memoir which gives full account of her childhood during the Second World War. Unlike most Jews who were sent to the concentration camps to be exterminated, Nechama, with her Aryan features, was trying to ‘pass’ as a little Polish Catholic girl in the community. Although the author did not attract suspicions of others, she noticed that there is a crisis in her identity – she has become a double-person.

    My string quartet aims to describe a series of psychological struggle of the author: the continuous fear of losing her life and family, the ‘joy’ of thinking there is a hope for them to survive, the surreal calmness she has when playing with other children and the pain she endures when she realises again and again that she will always be in danger due to her Jewish blood.

    ‘Dry Tears’ was commissioned by the Third Angle Ensemble and was premiered in Portland, Oregon in May, 2014. It later received its second performance in ISCM-MUSICARAM in 2015, in Hong Kong.



Total number of musicians: 
Musicians1st player2nd player



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