Chinese traditional music to avant-garde freestyle improvisation,
this beautifully-packaged double-CD features the music created by
the meeting of these two extraordinary artists of different cultures
and even different generations - violinist Malcolm
(born 1936), one of the greatest maestros in the field of freestyle
improvisation, and Chinese pipa virtuoso Liu
young master on the traditional classical music of China.
information on the duo
reviews on this double CD
Wind over earth,
the grass in between stirred to dancing. So, too, this meeting of
east and western sources resound 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
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
become one, a new sound-texture in the air.
reviews on this double CD
Fang is a Chinese musician living in Canada. She is an internationally-acclaimed
virtuoso playing traditional and contemporary music on two beautiful
instruments: the pipa (Chinese lute) and the Guzheng (Chinese
zither). She also improvises and met with the master Malcolm Goldstein
from the west, violinist, best known for experimental music circles.
They recorded a duet this fantastic double CD. If the second (and
excellent) disk offers only freely improvised duets, the first
(well, the CD numbered 1), presents a fascinating cultures and
techniques of each, alternating solo and duo, writing and improvisation.
And even when put into perspective Goldstein reinterprets a piece
of Bela Bartok that he had transposed from a record in 1935 (by
Halima Hvro) of a traditional song of Central Europe ... Be discovered
with such a happy blues GOLDSTEIN hallucinated the same or a piece
of Chinese composer Liu Tianhua. What is striking is the perfect
first agreement, following a course of exceptional listening level
of both players. Then (and at the same time) their ability to
leave natural idioms yet aesthetically very marked. This can only
be made ??possible only by the quality control that is indispensable
style ... What is expected of artists ... but we do not always
get ... Despite the apparent formal increased linearity proposed
by the pipa, the violin is more "trash" (well, relatively,
changes being made ??by held in the bow, which can differentiate
other technical considerations of the lute), the dialogue moves
in subtle improvisations in duo. We can say that we have to hear
music that advance, which places it in the poetry category.
to be with/in the sound; a process of sounding:
plumbing the depths of sound and in/of me. All sounds. Touch releasing
things into motion; gesture realized/resonances of texture becoming
The word "sound"
implies the singular form, whereas every sound is a complex of
many "sounds": multiplicities of overtones and noises
(bow friction on the string, breath within the cavity of mouthpiece,
stroke of articulation, etc.), nuances of dynamics, etc. that
are continually changing and, as well, each aspect changing in
its own way and own time... levels and balances of and within
details changing beyond the organizing mind's conscious control,
though available to the whole mind that is open to perceive/receive,
being continually present, what "is".
To enter into
this process, listening as to become one with this "as is"
endlessly becoming, is like stepping into the flow of a brook,
discovering new, subtle twists and turns within the current. So
also the mind can be imaged as this dynamic fluidity, as a multiplicity
of mental time-spaces simultaneously active, interacting within
its own various dimensions, as well as with the physical time-spaces
of external phenomena. To enter this process and to resonate this
sound/space is improvisation as "sounding": plumbing
the depths and bringing forth whatever needs to be done/heard;
following the line as it unfolds and releasing it in the gesture
as here a violinist and pipa musician, the spectrum of sound/tonal-textures
(such two different instruments and different sources of culture!)
becomes expanded and enriched further. But the focus of being
with/in the sound, here/now two becoming as one, remains essentially
the same. Music enacted this way as the process of living, sounding.
Malcolm Goldstein for "along the way".
recording was made possible through the assistance of the Canada
Music Fund and the Music Section of the
Council for the Arts.