Mike has been developing his own "multi-cultural chamber music" over the last eighteen years, both as a soloist and as a member of the experimental group,
Pointless Orchestra. His work has appeared in film soundtracks, public television, multi-media performance pieces, theaters, the Sundance Film Festival, recital halls, and on 20 CD releases. He has also received critical praise and has reached top airplay status on public and college radio stations around the world.
"Temporal Angels" is Mike's first solo CD release in several years. The music on this Cd brings together elements of baroque and renaissance music with Court traditions from Vietnam, China, Japan, India, and
a wide assortment of other cultures. These elements are mixed with improvisational and extended playing
techniques that create a blend of sounds and ideas that are at once familiar and completely unique.
The Guest Musicians
"Temporal Angels" features a stellar list of guest musicians, including Phong Nguyen (a Vietnamese master musician and ethnomusicologist who was invited to the White House to receive the National Heritage Award), Halim El-Dabh (an internationally acclaimed Egyptian composer who studied with Aaron Copland, helped to pioneer electronic music in the 1950s, and received multiple Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Fulbright awards), and Wah-Chiu Lai (an accomplished musician from China who has performed with the Chinese Classical Music Orchestra and the Taipei Municipal Chinese Orchestra in Taipei, Taiwan). The Unitarian Universalist choir also makes an appearance on one piece.
About The Music
The pieces on this CD bring together assortments of instruments and cultures that have never been tried before. The CD includes:
* A piece for harmonic vocals (a vocalist who can sing two or three notes at the same time), gu zheng (a Chinese zither), percussion, and vielle (a renaissance precursor to the violin).
* A piece for choir, koto (a Japanese harp-like zither), and oboe. This piece features a shifting tone center that weaves the music between two completely different scales, thus stretching the listener's ear beyond conventional tonality.
* A piece for dan bau (a Vietnamese one-string instrument), tambura (a string instrument, similar to the sitar. Traditionally, it is played by plucking the strings but in this piece it is played with a slide and struck with mallets), and gu zheng (a Chinese zither). This piece features master musician Phong Nguyen performing on the extremely difficult dan bau. The instrument is played completely in harmonics, which are bent in intricate ways from one pitch to another. This creates a haunting, ghost-like effect. Phong also performed on this instrument with The Kronos Quartet.
* A piece for erhu (a Chinese two-stringed fiddle), cello, gu zheng (a Chinese zither), and percussion.
* A piece for didgeridoo (an Australian wind instrument), oboe, shahnai (an Asian multi-reed instrument), and percussion instruments from around the world. This is one of the trobbing, tribal drum pieces on the CD that break up the tension from the more stately chamber pieces. It includes a shahnai part that begins with John Coltrane-like licks, blossoms into some intense hocketing, and then adds a chorus of additional reed instruments to push the piece over the top.
* A piece for harmonic vocals (a vocalist singing two or three notes at the same time), tambura (an Indian string instrument, similar to the sitar), crumhorn (a renaissance-era wind instrument), sitar (a classical string instrument from India), gu zheng (a Chinese zither), and percussion.
For more information please contact SRCA Recordings: firstname.lastname@example.org
SRCA is a division of Standing Rock Cultural Arts: www.standingrock.net
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2. The Middle Kingdom
3. Chanting The Sutras
5. Hui-Neng Tearing up Sutras
9. Abu Optional