2011, 8pm: Église du Gesù (Espace Aline Letendre), 1202, rue De
Bleury, Montreal, QC, Canada
(followed by a reception).
New CD release: "Along the way" - duo pipa and violin.
From Chinese traditional music to avant-garde freestyle improvisation with Liu Fang and Malcolm Goldstein
Traditional and improvized music
Pipa and violin duet
"Music for adventurous listeners"
Booking for the periods: May & October 2011
*Pipa is commonly known as 4-stringed Chinese lute, or as Chinese "flamenco guitar".
Concerts in France 2004
"... The idea of blending the two arts - the inventive tradition and free play - brought forth a sumptuous beauty in the auditorium of the Museum for modern and contemorary arts, at the same time sparse but also bewitching. Carried away by the digressions of the two artists, who alternstively offered the initiative of passages one to the other, the instruments became restrained and then allowed the flow without fore-sight, as some delicate measures by Liu Fang on the high pitched and subtle strings of her instrument. ...
The evening did not only gave Goldstein the monopoly of inventiveness. The Chinese woman offered a glimpse of the possibilities of the four strings of the pipa, as rich as the oud, allowing for very nervous articulations that found an echo in the play of violonist. The several pieces that were improvised by the two musicians were expressions of pure feelings, with a self-restraint rendered by the minimal amplification of their instruments suitable to the small hall of the auditorium." - Sophian Fanen, Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace 23 mai 2004 (The whole article)
Liu Fang has achieved an international reputation for her virtuosic and spirited pipa playing. Born in China in 1974 , she began studying the pipa at the age of six and graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory for Music in 1993. Liu Fang moved to Canada in 1996 and began an impressive international career, giving concerts all over the world and performing often on TV and radio. Her concerts were recorded live by CBC radio, Radio-France, and BBC World Service, and have always received admirable comments from the listeners and the press alike. Celebrated in the press as being "one of the greatest virtuosos" and "the empress of pipa" (L'actualité, 2001), Liu Fang is able to transmit in an erudite and significant way the beauty and the richness of Chinese traditional music as well as the subtle sonorities of the instruments by the power and sensibility of her play. Since moving to Canada, she carries on further to explore new musical languages and has performed with great musicians from other musicial traditions in the world. In June 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Millennium Prize for Future Generations by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Malcolm Goldstein (b. 1936) is one of the greatest living maestros of the violin. Being a composer, improviser, and violinist, Goldstein has been active in the presentation of new music and dance since the early 1960s. He was co-founder/director of the Tone Roads Ensemble and a participant in the Judson Dance Theater, the New York Festival of the Avant Garde and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. He has toured extensively throughout north America and Europe, presenting solo violin concerts and appearing as soloist with new music and dance ensembles. Goldstein is a totally individual and original violinist and avant-garde front figure in the realm of improvised and composed contemporary music for the violin. He has expanded, deepened and broadened the possibilities of the violin immensely, and it appears that he forgot everything about what a violin is and how it should sound, starting anew from scratch, and artistically that is probably what happened. Great and incredibly interesting art; startling and addicting! A true innovator and pathfinder!
These two great musicians met for the first time in February 2003, and performed for the first time on April 10, 2003. They both came from totally different traditions and musical background, and even belong to different generations. However, there are strong similarities in their music: both have very young spirits and are strikingly heartfelt in their playing; both are masters of their instruments and display very sensitive and virtuositic skills. They perform duo totally improvised, however, listeners have the impression as if they have been playing for many years. The soundscape is unimaginable: one miracle after another, taking the audience from deep meditation to frenzy, creating an extraordinary concert experience that is not to be missed.
Musicians Talk about their music
"Wind over earth, the grass in between stirred to dancing. So, too, this meeting of east and western sources resounds a new music. Pipa and violin, both far distant and with ancient histories, come together in this shared space, interacting in the moment of encounter to reveal a unique quality of sounding. Wind blowing over the earth, the Aeolian harp responding.
The duets here are all improvisations; there is no pre-arranged framework for the music. It begins and flows freely, as each musician follows their own line within their common ground of listening. Improvisation allows for the logic of our total selves to participate; what comes forth is the coherence of the sounding gesture. Bow rubbing upon the string, plectrum snapping the silken thread; the two sources come one, a new sound-texture in the air.
Included between these duo settings are also some solo performances; Liu Fang presenting classical Chinese lute pieces and Malcolm Goldstein playing his soundings improvisations. Each alone now, their separate voices distinct, before another duet brings them together to discover new dimensions in improvisation." - Malcolm Goldstein, February 1, 2004.
"Malcolm Goldstein's music has no boundary. The first time when I listened to his playing, I couldn't help being deeply touched by the soul of his music. Then we decided to play a concert together. Before meeting with him, I never imagined that I could play improvised music in such a way. Yet when we sat together and began to play, I feel so free and so natural, and there is no hesitation. What we do is very unusual, pure improvisation, deep, and totally free (see also press review in fROOTS Magazine, London, UK). Thanks to Malcolm that a totally new musical world has opened to me. He is no doubt one of the greatest living masters of our time. For me, playing with him is like a spiritual elevation or a deep meditation. I am profoundly happy to perform with Malcolm and am looking forward to perform the next concerts with him." - Liu Fang, April 10, 2003.
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