Call of the Mountains and Shi Weiliang
Prime collection: Call of the Mountains and Shi Weiliang
Author: Chen Shiting/ Awarded “Honorable Mention” in the 2009 Story Writing Contest of the TELDAP Bridge Project 
Not many know that Shi Weiliang had tried his hand at writing soundtracks for several films throughout the course of his creative career. These movies include Hsi Shih, Beauty of Beauties, directed by Li Han-hsiang in 1965, A Perturbed Girl, directed by Sung Tsun-shou in 1965, Fire Bulls, directed by Lee Hsing, Lee Chia, and Pai Jingrui in 1966, and Call of the Mountains, directed by Yeung Man-gam in 1967. Shi took up the job of writing soundtracks because his friend Guo Ren who was the art director in those films had recommended him.
Call of the Mountains tells the story of a young overseas Chinese, Jiaming.  Returning to Taiwan to manage the agricultural properties left behind by his deceased father, Jiaming discovers a hidden conflict between his father and another family, the Chens. His discovery disturbs the orderly rhythm of his small hometown. In the process, he gets to know Xiuyu (played by Zhang Meiyao), the first daughter of the Chen family. Although the two develop romantic feelings toward each other, their love meets with resistance due to the conflicted relationship of the previous generation. After a series of attempts, Jiaming eventually manages to lay Xiuyu’s mother’s grudge to rest and marries Xiuyu. As the movie progresses, Jiaming comes to realize how much he loves Taiwan, and decides to stay and contribute his agricultural knowledge to Taiwan. The film also depicts the agricultural developments and countryside scenery in Taiwan during the 1960s.
When Shi Weiliang first began writing music for films, he had just completed his education in Vienna and returned to Taiwan. Having read and travelled broadly, Shi had acquired the skill to observe in detail and to reflect profoundly. This learning transformed his youthful passion and patriotism into realistic and mature thinking, enabling him to carry out his ideals through practical ways. Shi aimed to restore the cultural identity of Chinese music on all musical levels. Therefore, when he was recruited as a composer of movie soundtracks, he did his best to incorporate Chinese musical elements, utilizing modern compositional techniques while adhering to Chinese modes and instrumentation in his works. He hoped that the society would awaken to the beauty of Chinese music and begin to take its own traditional culture seriously.
The music of this film is in B-flat of the Yu mode (one of the five modes of traditional Chinese music), with a simple ensemble of violin, flute, and chorus. Not much variation is used in compositional technique. The melody of the violin was composed of repetitive notes in rondo form, while glissandos made by the electronic piano (or harp) were used in the background. At times the flute presides over the violin; elsewhere it sings at its command.
The opening theme to “Call of the Mountains” consists of two parts: the introduction and the main theme. The essence of the song is brought home by a few significant notes from the electronic piano, highlighting the mode of the entire song. This, accompanied by the hazy mountain scenery, served as the opening scene of the movie. Immediately afterward, the violin plays the movie’s main theme using repetitive notes in rondo form. With the rising and falling pattern of the melody, each repetition adds to the intense ambiance of the movie. Accompanying the violin, the electronic piano executes several glissandos which accentuate the Chinese flavor of the theme song.
The point of greatest musical tension in the movie is when Xiuyu’s mother passes out and Jiaming spends the night looking for a doctor. While there is little action onscreen besides— the sight of Jiaming rushing and scurrying about in the nighttime rain—the music builds to a powerful climax. The violin plays a succession of sixteenth notes repeated in of alternating circulations of major seconds and minor thirds, while the flute carries out extended notes in major second hanging above the melody of the violin. This combination enhances the dissonance of this music section and brings the tense ambiance into a climax.
The ending theme of Call of the Mountains also displays Shi Weiliang’s compositional skills. Jiaming gives a monologue to the accompaniment of solo flute, which resonates with the plot of the movie. Later, the chorus joins in as the scene shifts to a splendid view of mountains rising one after another, each one vying for attention. In a sweeping fervency, Call of the Mountains calls to an end
Prime collection: Call of the Mountains and Shi Weiliang
Title: The grand premiere of the movie Call of the Mountains
Topic and keywords: main topic: culture and art
Description: On August 31st, 1967, the day when the Taiwan Film Production Corporation’s new movie Call of the Mountains was released, a long queue appeared in front of Taipei Chinese cinema, whose gate and hall were both crowded. . . [more]. 
Data identification Serial number: PTV052
Film title: Call of the Mountains
Topic and keywords: literature and art
Description: plot summary: Li Jiaming (played by Chun Hsiung Ko), a young man who studied agriculture in America returns to Taiwan to manage the agricultural properties left behind by his deceased father. In the process, he discovers a conflicted history between his father and the Chen family, and gets to know Xiuyu, the first daughter of the Chen family . . . [more].
Data information Serial number: A-130