By Kerilie McDowall | Published January 2018
Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jen Shyu’s Song Of Silver Geese showcases exceptional performance artistry influenced by Shyu’s Taiwanese and East Timorese ancestry, with numerous languages aboard from Shyu’s passionate fieldwork in experimental music and dance. Nine spellbinding rapturous “door” movements explore multi-cultures, texture and ritual on a poetic compositional canvas. Enticing Taiwanese moon lute and Korean gayageum enhance Shyu’s poetry alongside instrumental compositions with her impressive New York ensemble Jade Tongue teamed up with the Mivos Quartet.
Song of Silver Geese is a cathartic compositional work. The traveling is inward and extroverted, exploring deep emotional connections. Dramatic Indonesian, Javanese, Mandarin, Tetum, Korean and improvisatory vocals are made universal by Shyu. Her captivating vision, melodic spells and abstract pathways connect exquisite compositional balance and solid, tight-knit ensemble interplay.
Poetry visits compelling nature-inspired philosophical contemplation on the introductory “Prologue—Song of Lavan Pitinu.” “World Of Java” offers mysterious, shadowy textures from bass, string quartet, vibraphone and snare complementing Shyu’s exotic rhapsodies.
From the hauntingly melodic to inspired avant-garde magic, from the immediate to capturing the dream-world, Song Of Silver Geese celebrates the cycle of life with the hush of Shyu’s rising “full white moon.”
Song Of Silver Geese: Door 1: Prologue–Song of Lavan Pitinu; Door 2: World of Java; Door 3: Dark Road, Silent Moon; Door 4: Sinom Semarangan; Door 5: World Of Hengchun; Door 6: World Of Wehali; Door 7: World Of Ati Batik; Door 8: World Of Baridegi; Door 9: Contemplation. (49:37)
Personnel: Jen Shyu, vocals, Taiwanese moon lute, Korean gayageum, piano; Chris Dingman, vibraphone; Mat Maneri, viola; Thomas Morgan, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion; Anna Webber, flutes; Dan Weiss, drums; Jennifer Choi, Erica Dicker, violins; Victor Lowrie, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello.