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ARTIST
TITLE
Returning Souls
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
NW 80746CD NW 80746CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
8/6/2013

"The five compositions by Shih-Hui Chen (b. 1962) on this recording can be considered variations of an 'ethnic style': they reflect her experiences of being able to return to Taiwan for a year in 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar specifically to study its music. Particular Chinese/Taiwanese myths and ideas stand behind these compositions. Melodies and instrumental techniques, topics and texts, the use of Chinese musical structures such as heterophony, and the peculiar stretta effects which can be seen both in terms of metric as well as in terms of sonic arrangements, are all elements that can be explained as derived from Chinese and Taiwanese musical practice. Each of the pieces revolves around a small number of notes and motifs which are continually reinterpreted. The compositions feature colorful sounds and they exemplify Chen's particular predilection for effective timbres, for the potent qualities of 'noise' as well as of 'silence' as part of a comprehensive musical whole. Not unlike many other composers of Chinese descent, who consider it important to express their 'Chineseness' in music, Chen employs this style to great effect."