yamato ensemble

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The Yamato Ensemble: Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi, Vol 1 (ARC/Elite)

The Yamato Ensemble: Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi, Vol 1 (ARC/Elite)

Although he lived in the first half of the 20th century, the famous Japanese composer Michio Miyagi -- whose works are featured here -- actually belonged to a much older world. He wrote in the tradition of the Edo Period of the 17th to 19th centuries (although he assimilated some post-Edo influences). His popularity and prodigious output...

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

This London-based group includes Cheng Yu, who previously featured on Elsewhere with her lovely solo album of pipa (lute) and qin (zither) music. She has a command of both instruments and here (playing pipa) with Sun Zhao on zither, Hu Bin (erhu/fiddle) and Zhou Jinyan (Chinese dulcimer) she delivers lively traditional tunes alongside...

Taoist Music Orchestra of Shanghai: Chinese Taoist Music (Arc/Elite)

Taoist Music Orchestra of Shanghai: Chinese Taoist Music (Arc/Elite)

With bamboo flute, erhu (two stringed fiddle) simple drum, dulcimer, lute and bells, this ensemble bring back to life ancient Taoist music in a modern style and evoke a more ancient world, a spiritual one of contemplation and internal focus. These pieces are either marvellous miniatures or extended pieces with evocative titles: Incense Hymn,...

Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

The debut album Alive of two years ago by this photogenic Chinese singer was a mish-mash of electro-pop, slightly twee vocals, Chinese folk, new age blandness and deadening over-production. This new album however -- while still mining electro-pop and again putting traditional instruments alongside synths -- is a much more interesting item....

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