New World

CHEN, SHIH-HUI - Silvergrass & Other Orchestral Works

""Intercultural composition is no longer a novelty. It has become a familiar, even commonplace, phenomenon. With this recording, Shih-Hui Chen (b. 1962) breathes fresh air into this important genre. In more ways than one, her transcultural work has blurred the lines between individual cultures and represents our rich musical horizon today. Her earlier work is characterized by intense modernist sonorities, polyphonic layers, yearning angular melodies, and firm control of orchestral timbre and structure. It is the profound balance between her earlier modernist sensibility, with its rigorous control of polyphonic layers and structural design on the one hand, and her search for the inner self with materials distinctly different from Western tradition, that marks her accomplishment as a 21st-century composer. In the five works collected here, Chen broadens her reach into several branches of vernacular music -- Nanguan music and Taiwanese opera -- and the Chinese zither of traditional literati. Two use traditional Chinese instruments as soloists with a Western orchestra, one is written for both solo Chinese instrument and Chinese orchestra, and the two remaining works are scored for Western orchestra. Yet it is the source of inspiration that really sets them apart. The earliest work, Concerto for Pipa and Chamber Orchestra (2002), is abstract in conception, with prominent pipa gestures that infuse the composition with distinctive sonorities and melodic tropes. This is followed by three works, each of which uses a melodic source from traditional Chinese genres. Fantasia on the Theme of Guanglingsan for Zheng and Chinese Orchestra (2014) is based on a well-known masterwork, which is full of drama and contrast. It shares certain sonic similarities with the pipa concerto. As a pair they differ significantly from the two following works, centered around Taiwanese Nanguan music. Fantasia on the Theme of Plum Blossoms for String Orchestra (2012) uses as its basis a famous tune from the Nanguan repertoire, while A Plea to Lady Chang'e for Nanguan Pipa and Chamber Orchestra (2013) is essentially a setting of a traditional Nanguan song in the modernist sonic fabric. Finally, Silvergrass, for Cello and Chamber Orchestra (2016) represents a step further in that direction, not only tracing the sonic aspect of another indigenous music genre -- Taiwanese opera -- but also delving deeply into the words, sensibility, and poetic expression of one of the island's literary legends, author Huang Chunming, who is known for his plain, richly colloquial voice."" - New World Records.
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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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