To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 921 Earthquake, the Puli Paper Dome, which is located in the post-quake reconstruction area in Nantou County, will hold the "921 Earthquake 20th Anniversary Commemorative Concert" from 7 to 9 pm on the evening of Sept. 21, the 20th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that happened on that day in 1999.
The opening piece that will be performed at the concert is a creation by Golden Melody Award winner Chien Nan-chang (錢南章) — No. 6 symphony "Butterfly," which derives profound connotations from the earthquake and espouses the strength of rebirth. It will be performed for the first time at the concert in Puli. Prior to the concert, a special ceremony was also held on Sept. 6, in which the Sheu Yuan-dong and Huang Mian-mei Commemorative Culture and Education Foundation (許遠東先生暨夫人紀念文教基金會) presented the music score as a gift to the Puli Butterfly Orchestra (埔里Butterfly樂團).
In the past, Puli was known as the "Butterfly Town." Butterflies were also one of the inspirations behind the efforts to turn Puli into an ecological town. Under the leadership of Chairperson Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) of the Egret Cultural and Education Foundation (白鷺鷥文教基金會), the Sheu Yuan-dong foundation commissioned composer Chien to create this "Butterfly" symphony.
Chien and his wife Lai Mei-chen (賴美貞) made a special visit to Puli for the creation of this symphony, which is divided into four movements. The first movement, "The Home of the Stars," has a simple and melodic tune to depict the early history of Puli, which was called the Star Tribe by the indigenous Atayal people. The second movement, "921 Great Earthquake," is presented in the form of a musical theater, and depicts Taiwan's tumultuous catastrophe of the century.
The third movement, "Paper Dome," fuses Bach's chorales into the symphony, and symbolizes the hope of post-disaster reconstruction. The last movement, "The Life of the Pupa," depicts butterflies emerging from their chrysalis after their metamorphosis and flying up into the sky. The image created by this movement shows Taiwan's post-quake rebirth and her endless vitality.
Chien's new symphony will be debuted by Puli Butterfly Orchestra, which was established after the 1999 earthquake to represent the strength of Nantou's Puli Township while promoting diversity and affirmation of cultural rights. Members of the "Sound of the Pupa" music cultivation project (蛹之聲音樂培育計畫) supported by the Ministry of Culture will also participate in the concert.
On Sept. 21, everyone is welcomed at Puli Paper Dome to review the region's history over the past 20 years through the artistic creations and performances of many outstanding Taiwanese musicians.