Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CD Review: Orchid Ensemble's 'Life Death Tears Dream'

Orchid Ensemble
Life Death Tears Dream

The Vancouver, Canada-based Orchid Ensemble brings us inventive Chinese traditional music. Lan Tung is the vocalist and erhu player. Haiqiong Deng plays the zheng. Jonathan Bernard is the marimba and percussion expert. Together, this trio fuses classical music with Chinese traditional music. The somber, yet intriguing erhu and zheng instruments are iconic and classic. The ancient traditions of Chinese classical music are reinvented here with subtle percussion additions. The plucked instruments and light percussion sounds are a perfect combination for the intended result. The music is very dreamy and awe-inspiring, but most of all: it is fun. The galloping "Hayot Hakodesh" is especially moving. "Cocoon" is pensive, reflective, and diverse. "Tune Of Mulberry" contains wavering, plucked notes and sweeping melodies. The operatic vocals on "Dancing Moon" are especially inviting. Overall, Orchid Ensemble is a great ensemble with a great repertoire. Life Death Tears Dream represents a life cycle, but this one should not be missed. ~ Matthew Forss

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