The Art of the Chinese Xiao & Hulusi
The Art of the Chinese Xiao & Hulusi - Heart of the Dragon Ensemble
Founded by acclaimed composer Jiang Li, the Heart of the Dragon Ensemble is a UK-based cadre of experienced Chinese musicians.
While these in-demand artists are all kept busy with their respective projects, they have reunited once again to produce an experimental and captivating album that combines the traditional music of their homeland with the western influences they have discovered during their time in the UK.
The very genesis of the album came from conversations about their work and lives and how their previous collaborations had naturally drawn exclusively from China’s musical heritage. Inspired by modern life and their integration into English society, ‘The Art of the Chinese Xiao & Hulusi’ is a bold crossing of cultures that offers listeners a unique and compelling musical experience.
The xiao – a vertically-played single pipe bamboo flute – is an ancient instrument deeply immersed in China’s cultural heritage. Having evolved over the years, the contemporary xiao produces a range of soft and elegant sounds and allows versatility, playing solo or accompanying other instruments. Ensemble-member Hu Ruijun brings the evocative tones of the xiao to life for the album.
The hulusi – likely less familiar than other traditional Chinese instruments – offers western audiences a new sound and style. Its physical distinctiveness of three bamboo pipes passing through a gourd wind chest alludes to the unique sound this instrument provides. The rich and emotional tones allow the artist, Qiu Zenghui Joanna, a broad expression level well-suited to the album’s compositions.
1. Ga Guang Dance
2. Drunken Song on the Stone Fish Lake
3. Nian Nu Jiao Crossing Lake Dongting (Instrumental Version)
4. The Moon Before Dawn
6. The Affections of the Dai Nation
7. Wild Geese Over the Sands
9. Nian Nu Jiao Crossing Lake Dongting (Vocal Version)