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MP3 Yang Ying - Blurring Boundaries - Erhu Excursions

Fusion of Chinese music with Western classical, jazz, funk, rock, and Nashville influences. Virtuostic erhu lead on all tunes.

8 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, WORLD: Asian

“One of our most honored Erhu virtuosos from China, Yang Ying’s new CD is remarkably innovative-- indeed, “blurring the boundaries” of classical Chinese, with Jazz and creative improvisations. It is brilliantly conceived and performed. Congratulations!!”

----Chungliang Al Huang -- Founder-President, Living Tao Foundation

"Blurring Boundaries is an eclectic mix of musical styles that bridges east with west, past with present, and classic with contemporary and is unlike anything you''ve ever heard before. The caliber of musicianship is superb; its exquisite resonance puts the work, without a doubt, at the top of the musical food chain."

----Pamphlet Press. Read the entire review at https://www.tradebit.com.

About the Composer - Ms. Yang Ying:

A student of her father, Ms. Yang Ying began the study of the erhu at the age of five. By thirteen, she was performing solo concerts at the theater in her hometown, and by nineteen she had graduated from the Opera University of Henan, China and had begun performing for the Central Song and Dance Ensemble (Zhong Yang Ge Wu Tuan) in Beijing. At the age of twenty-five, Yang Ying won first place in a national erhu competition, clearly distinguishing herself as one of the foremost erhu players in China.

The former Central Song & Dance Ensemble was the premier traditional musical and dance troupe in China, and from 1978-1996 Ms. Yang Ying was the featured solo instrumentalist. As the featured soloist, Yang Ying routinely traveled throughout Asia performing for Heads of State (including three American Presidents: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter). During her tenure, she also frequently recorded for the film and record industry in China. In 1996, Ms. Yang Ying''s accomplishments were recognized by her inclusion in the Chinese government''s publication of Famous Persons of China.

Improvisation is an important aspect of traditional Chinese music, and Ying is gifted improviser who enjoys joining in improvisational sessions of any style of music. She is also interested in a fusion of Western and Eastern music. Ms. Yang Ying was the founder, bass player, and singer for Cobra, the first all female rock band in China. Cobra had achieved international recognition, and was one of seven bands to play at the largest rock concert ever held in China. Ying founded this band soon after Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989, at considerable risk to her position with the Chinese National Song and Dance Ensemble.

Liner Notes for Blurring Boundaries:

1. Uninhibited--Inspired by native Mongolian music and Xian drum styles. Also includes American jazz, rock, and funk influences. Written in 10/8 and 11/8 time signatures.

2. Confiding in a Friend --This song incorporates two distinct styles of Chinese music-odd meters common in Xinjiang music in northwest China, and the smooth "silk and bamboo" music from Jiangnan (Yangtze river delta), with Western jazz influences.

Improvisation is a very important aspect in much of the folk music of China. When writing this song I improvised the melody and, so that western musicians may accompany me, I then went back and calculated the cord changes and meter. It begins a bluer minor key, and then switches to a more upbeat major key.

The song naturally adopted a combination of 7/4 and 6/4 meters. The odd meter may at first feel unusual to some, especially since almost all Western "pop" music is in 4/4 time.

3. ''Round Midnight --Classical American jazz cover that is especially beautiful played on the erhu.

4. Sai Ma (Horse Race) -- A traditional, signature piece for the erhu, inspired by the Mongolian peoples'' love of horsemanship.

5. Jiang He Shui (Rivers of Tears)--This is a traditional folk song from northeast China. Yang Ying won first place in a national erhu competition in 1986 with this piece.

6. Funky Chinese Jig--An upbeat dance sang, characteristic of the musical flavor of the Miao tribe of southwestern China - with a combination of western funk and Nashville guitar. The Miao are a colorful people who enjoy singing and dancing.
7. Han Gong Qiu Yue (Autumn Moon over the Han Palace)--This is a very famous and ancient instrumental piece-the earliest known written score dates to the 1600s. It expresses the sadness of a maidservant''s imprisoned life in the emperor''s palace during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220). The melody of the music is narrow-confined to a specific range of notes. This is characteristic of the traditional way to play the erhu-the hand is held in one position on the neck of the instrument. The style also typifies the life experience of women at that feudal time, which was also limited to a defined, narrow function.

Inflection is extremely important in both Chinese language and music. Great emphasis is therefore given to the proper articulation and inflection of each musical tone, as opposed to technical expertise or speed. The intention of traditional Chinese music was not to amuse, but rather as an expression of feelings and as a sort of "purification" of one''s thoughts. It is the subtle changes in tone color that is prized for expressing the emotion of the music.

8. Sanmen Gorge Capriccio--A famous traditional piece. Liu Wen Jin is well known for including influences from western classical works and violin techniques in his compositions for the erhu. This piece was especially influenced by classical Russian music.

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