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Pipa from a Distance

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
An album of extraordinarily exploratory pipa music from the main ambassador of the instrument to the West, Wu Man. Here, there is a definite aspect of traditional pipa music present, but that's only the jumping-off point. There's some thorough culture-mixing as a didgeridoo is tossed in here and there. Some heavy updating of the ancient forms stands throughout, as Man's old pipa is accompanied by e-bow guitars, turntables, and beat machines throughout. In the extremely stunning "Shanghai Blues," she takes the pipa electric, nearly summoning Hendrix in her effects as she goes on extended solos. Tablas come into play in "White Crane Flying," setting the mood over the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
An album of extraordinarily exploratory pipa music from the main ambassador of the instrument to the West, Wu Man. Here, there is a definite aspect of traditional pipa music present, but that's only the jumping-off point. There's some thorough culture-mixing as a didgeridoo is tossed in here and there. Some heavy updating of the ancient forms stands throughout, as Man's old pipa is accompanied by e-bow guitars, turntables, and beat machines throughout. In the extremely stunning "Shanghai Blues," she takes the pipa electric, nearly summoning Hendrix in her effects as she goes on extended solos. Tablas come into play in "White Crane Flying," setting the mood over the trombone and pipa work that makes the basis of the piece. In "Vincent's Tune," some straightforward art music is presented, complete with a toy piano, bicycle horn, and shrieking. To say that the album is interesting is to make a large understatement. Despite the obvious pitfalls that an artist can get caught in when updating an ancient form with electronica and modern art music sensibilities, the album here works out surprisingly well. Often, it finds itself in a relatively simple groove, รก la Mickey Hart's Planet Drum albums. For the purists out there, Man does provide a pair of solo pipa efforts, both new compositions bearing the marks of an improvisatory look into more modern ideas, but still leaving more than enough room for her to display her full virtuosity with ease. For those who shun the newest movements in world music, her older albums are probably a safer bet. For those interested in what can be done when electricity meets the old forms, this is an outstanding album to pick up.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2003
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 636943703724
  • Catalog Number: 76037
  • Sales rank: 157,671

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Invocation (2:21)
  2. 2 Dancing! (5:42)
  3. 3 Ancient Spirits (3:21)
  4. 4 Walking to the East (5:57)
  5. 5 Shanghai Blues (6:33)
  6. 6 Vincent's Tune (5:06)
  7. 7 White Crane Flying (6:38)
  8. 8 Ambushed Again (5:08)
  9. 9 Bamboo Dreams (9:48)
  10. 10 From a Distance (2:42)
  11. 11 [Untitled Hidden Track] (1:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Wu Man Primary Artist, Pipa, Soloist, Toy Instruments
Stuart Dempster Trombone, Horn, Ocarina, Pipe, Didjeridu, Bells, Chant, Rainstick, Shaker, Slide Whistle, Bird Calls, Toy Instruments
Abel Domingues Banjo, Guitar, Sampling, Slide Guitar, E-bow, wah wah guitar
DJ Tamara Piano, Turntables, Sampling, Toy Instruments
Technical Credits
Stuart Dempster Sound Effects
Julie Gold Composer
David Kumin Engineer
Stewart Lerman Engineer
Wu Man Producer, Liner Notes
Lyle Mays Composer
Abel Domingues Producer, Digital Editing, beats, Audio Manipulation
Abel Domingues Producer
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