Terra-Cotta Warriors by James Campbell

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Terra-Cotta Warriors by James Campbell

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Percussion Ensemble




While digging a well in 1974, Chinese farmers unearthed a vast 2,200 year-old archeological treasure. This stunning discovery in the Shaanxi province, southwest of Beijing was a terra-cotta army that served as guards for the tomb of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi. Buried in three pits amid the reddish soil of the Yellow River valley were more than 8,000 armed warriors, servants, and horses pulling manned chariots; each life-size terra-cotta statue unique. The tyrannical Emperor Qin is credited with centralizing power, building the Great Wall, constructing vast highways, and unifying weights and measures, currency, and written script throughout his empire. Qin was obsessed with achieving immortality and ordered that a massive clay army be created to protect his tomb in the afterlife. My inspiration for this percussion work is an image of the terra-cotta warriors as a ghost army that gradually becomes mortal as they carry out their duty to protect Emperor Qin from his many enemies.  – James Campbell

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