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Jen Shyu

Song of Silver Geese

  • Type CD
  • Label Pi Recordings
  • UPC 0808713007220
  • Catalog number PI 72
  • Release date 12 January 2018
Physical (CD)

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About the album

Song of Silver Geese is the latest record from groundbreaking, experimental vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu, whose critically acclaimed Sounds and Cries of the World (Pi 2015), was praised on many best-of-the-year lists, including those of The Nation and The New York Times. NPR extolls "Shyu's music is intensely personal. Nothing sounds quite like it...[It] operates in some unpatrolled border zone, blurring lines between folk song and art song, the traditional and the avant-garde, Western and Eastern, between waking consciousness and dream logic…. This is research and experience, absorbed and reimagined." The Wall Street Journal praises, “Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion, tells a story dotted with well-researched facts and wild poetic allusions. She claims both as her truths.”

Described by Shyu as “a multilingual, ritual music drama,” Song of Silver Geese combines composed structures and new improvisational systems informed by her 12-plus years of immersive fieldwork into the language and traditional music of various indigenous cultures: the Pansori tradition of epic storytelling and shaman music of Korea; folkloric music from East Timor; aboriginal folk song from Henchun, Taiwan; and Ledhekan, which combines Javanese dance with improvisational singing from Indonesia. Her work is utterly unique in its combination of musical forms drawn from these traditions, Western-composition, jazz and improvised music, dream-like narrative, and the language of these various cultures. The music also melds the improvisational ethos of her group Jade Tongue with the Mivos Quartet, an acclaimed group devoted to the music of contemporary composers.

Sung in English, Indonesian, Javanese, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Tetum, and Korean, the work reflects the parallels that exist between life and death, different cultures, and the importance of empathy over the destructive assumptions that divide humanity. That it all comes together seamlessly is a testament to Shyu’s complete immersion into each of these art forms and the strength of her intuition and creative voice. Looking to the future while seeking inspiration from the deeply-rooted past, she has created a sui generis work of art that is impassioned, ecstatic, and ultimately transformative.
 

(Click on a track title to listen)
  • 1
    1
    Door 2: World of Java
     
    03:34
  • 1
    2
    Door 3: Dark Road, Silent Moon
     
    04:12
  • 1
    3
    Door 4: Sinom Semarangan
     
    12:09
  • 1
    4
    Door 5: World of Hengchun
     
    05:34
  • 1
    5
    Door 6: World of Wehali
     
    04:57
  • 1
    6
    Door 7: World of Ati Batik
     
    03:11
  • 1
    7
    Door 8: World of Baridegi
     
    07:36
  • 1
    8
    Door 9: Contemplation
     
    05:44

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