“Orchid Ensemble defines the very essence of ”Canadian music”. The album criss-crosses both time and space, spanning over 2,000 years of cultural inspiration and influence, and reaching across China, India, and Persia.” – Heidi McKenzie, Whole Note Magazine, March 2006
In my books, the Orchid Ensemble defines the very essence of “Canadian music”. Two of the ensemble, Lan Tung and Mei Han, have married their traditional music and instrumentation with a hodge-podge of western, Middle Eastern and Asian delights.
Each track on the CD is a journey unto itself. The musicians themselves describe the album as a set of musical landscapes of the Silk Road. In fact, the title, Road to Kashgar, references a nexus of the Silk Road in northwest China. The album criss-crosses both time and space, spanning over 2,000 years of cultural inspiration and influence, and reaching across China, India, and Persia. The 7/8 rhythms of the title track create stunningly specific visual imagery of a caravan with Persian or Indian travelers as they approach Kasghar from the West.
The two seemingly most out of context tracks are both surprising and fun: Yaribon and Bengalila – harkening to Jewish and Bengali influences respectively. The blends are superb with just a dash of today to make this music accessible even to the world/fusion music novice. We are blessed with the guest appearance of Iranian singer, Amir Haghighi’s voice on this last track.
The music has a decided Asian flavour – but the mix is a unique fusion of sound that screams: MADE IN CANADA!!!!