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Orchid Ensemble: Road to Kashgar

(Sound Recording Review)

Sing Out!
September 22, 2005 | Beres, Derek | Copyright

Road to Kashgar

Taking the famed Silk Road as a call to arms in uniting Asian folk traditions in song, the Vancouver-based trio Orchid Ensemble combines highly educated performance with ethnomusicological backgrounds. Their Road to Kashgar–taking not one, but many routes–winds into northwest China, an important gateway where imports and exports of many kinds were exchanged. Ensemble leader Lan Tung performs on the erhu, a two-string stick fiddle that, despite having only one pair of strings, creates strikingly vast sounds. The opening “The Winged Horses of Heaven,” an ode to the explorative 13th Century general Zhang Qian, shimmers gorgeously with Tung’s precise show(wo)manship. …