Thursday, August 8, 2013

CD Review: Van-Anh Vanessa Vo's 'Three Mountain Pass'

Van-Anh Vanessa Vo
Three Mountain Pass

After spending decades in Hanoi, Vietnam, dan Tranh and dan Bau master, Van-Anh Vanessa Vo, learned to create moving and contemplative pieces of mostly instrumental work. The San Francisco-based musician plays the dan Tranh, a zither instrument, which resembles the koto in looks and sound. The strings are plucked and notes are created by sliding a bridge across the strings. In addition, the dan Bau is a pitch-bending, monochord, which adds a spritely sound to the mix. Also, the Kronos Quartet add their classical strings to the work. Van-Anh Vanessa Vo also plays the hang, which is a Swiss-made steel drum. The entire work is rather avant-garde and experimental to those unfamiliar with Vietnamese folk music. However, there is something magical about the way the strings tell stories through the sounds. There are only seven songs on the album, but all of the songs are rather long. Fans of Vietnamese folk music and contemporary world music will love Van-Anh Vanessa Vo's reflective and creative songs. ~ Matthew Forss

1 comment:

Signalman said...


Your link to Innova is incorrect, it should be

The direct link to the CD is

After your review and checking her blog, I am keen to pick this up, and hope it is generally released, an/or on a site like Amazon !