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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Silk Road Ensemble, the collective musical arm of the Silk Road Project founded by Yo-Yo Ma, has had a continued existence since Ma moved on to other projects. The music has explored new forms of cross-cultural collaboration and has generally had a more experimental bent than that featured on collaborations with Ma which of course only speaks well for his involvement. Here are four works by different composers, with only the Hong Kong-born Angel Lam having origins even tangentially related to the actual Silk Road. All the music relates in some way, however, to the swath of ancient cultures connecting China and Europe, and the sequence of pieces feels natural and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The Silk Road Ensemble, the collective musical arm of the Silk Road Project founded by Yo-Yo Ma, has had a continued existence since Ma moved on to other projects. The music has explored new forms of cross-cultural collaboration and has generally had a more experimental bent than that featured on collaborations with Ma which of course only speaks well for his involvement. Here are four works by different composers, with only the Hong Kong-born Angel Lam having origins even tangentially related to the actual Silk Road. All the music relates in some way, however, to the swath of ancient cultures connecting China and Europe, and the sequence of pieces feels natural and unforced. Each one is introduced in the booklet in English and French by a dialogue between composer and performer, ranging over topics ranging from technical challenges to the cultural resonances in the music. This is very effective, for the comments of the performers as they describe feeling out the music will mirror the feelings of listeners as they apprehend these experimental yet personal pieces. The "Ritmos Anchinos" of California composer Gabriela Lena Frank, who is partly of Chinese-Peruvian ancestry, draw both on that background and on the relationship between Chinese and South American stringed instruments. Lam's "Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain" embodies the composer's memory of the death of her grandmother when she was five years old; Lam discusses the instrumentation Japanese shakuhachi, violin, cello, bass, marimba, and percussion with shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki. "I realized that only the shakuhachi could compensate for that kind of secret fear, hidden deep within the mind, which cannot be expressed through a thousand utterances." Evan Ziporyn's "Sulvasutra" is an Indian-Western fusion. The most prominent composer here is the prolific Osvaldo Golijov, who delivers a typically kaleidoscopic mixture of Christian Arab music, Galician bagpiping, and a field recording of prayers from the Chiapas region of Mexico, among other sounds. Nothing on the album is dull, and the listener is apt to emerge convinced that cross-cultural collaboration is an important wave of the future in concert music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/10/2009
  • Label: World Village Usa
  • UPC: 713746809522
  • Catalog Number: 468095
  • Sales rank: 207,835

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Ritmos Anchinos, for ensemble - Evan Ziporyn & Gabriela Lena Frank (14:12)
  2. 4–5 Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain, for ensemble - Evan Ziporyn & Angel Lam (12:57)
  3. 6–8 Sulvasutra, for ensemble - Evan Ziporyn & Evan Ziporyn (16:58)
  4. 9–12 Air to Air, for ensemble - Osvaldo Golijov & Evan Ziporyn (19:01)
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