Chipped China was a jeu d'esprit, a farewell to St Paul's Girls School, when I was about to embark for three years living in Beijing. A traditional Chinese folk song, Meng Jiang Nu of the Twelve Months gradually emerges from the fragments. The folk song concerns the building of the Great Wall of China in the Qin dynasty. A conscript, Wan Xi Liang, died while helping to build it. His wife, Meng Jiang Nu, travelled across China to find him. When not a trace of him could be found, she cried and cried until the Great Wall fell down and revealed his bones. The melody itself is joyful and contrasts strongly with the words and sentiments of the story.
First performed 10 July 2007 by St Paul's Girls' School Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, St Paul's Girls School, Brook Green, London W6
For orchestra - (3+223sax(a.t.b)2/4200/3 perc./marimba/timp/strings)
(alternate scoring, omitting 3 saxes, and adding 3 trombones)