In May 2015, Coralie Van Rietschoten travelled with Magma on their first Chinese tour. Glimpses of Shenzhen s tropical vegetation, Beijingers exercising in public parks, and Shanghai s psychedelic city lights are interspersed with concert footage…
The liner notes of The Hugo Masters: An Anthology of Chinese Classical Music contain extensive documentation of the various instruments used in Chinese solo and orchestral music, with descriptions of their history and modifications, as well as an essay to help Western listeners understand the background of Chinese classical music.
Gary Lucas – charmingly oddball pop songwriter, musical world traveler, utterly hellacious guitarist – is perhaps at his most hellaciously, charmingly cosmopolitan on this frankly amazing album, which finds him adapting popular Chinese songs that were originally recorded in the 1960s and which he heard and fell in love with during a sojourn in Taiwan in the mid-'70s. His girlfriend at the time had a cassette tape of such local superstars as Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong, and it was, he says in his liner notes, "like almost no other music I had ever heard before." Twenty-five years later he put together this quirkily gorgeous tribute, which includes jaw-droppingly virtuosic fingerstyle guitar arrangements ("Mad World," "Wall") and song settings using guest vocalists. Among the best of the latter are the limpidly beautiful "Night in Shanghai" (again, note the guitar playing) and the country-flavored "I Wait for Your Return," which is simply a hoot. He's not playing this stuff for laughs, though; his genuine affection for the music comes through loud and clear, and even when he has fun with it he is obviously trying to do so in a way that brings its haunting loveliness to the fore. Very highly recommended.
During the Han Dynasty the theory of the Five Elements became inseparably intertwined with the Yin Yang theory of Changes, also known as the Yi Ching (I-Ching). According to the “Book of Changes: Cycle of Elemental Music”, Earth, Metal, Wood, Fire and Water correspond with spleen, lung, liver, heart and kidney respectively.
Flautist Sharon Bezaly with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Lan Shui here play the music of three composers who are all resident in the USA, but have their roots across the Pacific Ocean, in China. Philosophical, musical and literary aspects of this Chinese heritage are in evidence in the works recorded here.