Han, Mei / Outside The Wall
Album: Outside The Wall   Collection:World
Artist:Han, Mei   Added:Sep 2005
Label:Za Discs  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2006-01-15 Pull Date: 2006-03-19 Charts: Reggae/World, Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Mar 19 Feb 26 Feb 12 Jan 22
Airplays: 1 1 1 5

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 27, 2011: Killer Brown
Bamboo, Silk And Stone
4. Mar 13, 2006: banana in the middle 1.8: chinese
3 Variations On The Theme Of Plum Blossom
2. May 16, 2011: Moose Ain't Here Right Now
Purple Lotus Bud
5. Feb 24, 2006: No Cover, No Minimum
Xi'an Medley
3. Apr 16, 2011: Music Casserole
The Greening
6. Feb 07, 2006: Eclectica: more mustaches?
Xi'an Medley

Album Review
Reviewed 2006-01-06
MEI HAN – “Outside the Wall”
Za Discs, 2005

CHINA/CANADA – Han is an ethnomusicologist and master of the zheng, a 21-stringed Chinese zither. This disc consists mostly of new or recent works (1967-2005) by modernist composers, all but two are solo pieces. The zheng is a very versatile instrument, and Han gets a wide range of textures and moods from it, with near-silent plucking at one moment and a bold harplike sweep the next. This is serious art music, well rendered.

Traditionalists, try 1 & 2. Experimentalists, try 8 & 9.

1. 6:29 – medley of old court tunes: quiet and pensive at first, then upbeat

2. 9:38 – a dramatic, tricky, and very expressive piece written for Japanese koto.

3. 6:36 - 4th-century song(!) in 3 variations: slow & serious, gently folksy, and back

4-7. a short suite: first quiet, then bolder with complex structure and big spaces. About 6 minutes total.

8. 16:22 – with string quartet!: abstract strings and spare zheng blossom into a wistful melody with almost Appalachian touches, then roam through many moods/modes, from gentle and pastoral to raw and scary, using both Chinese and European classical ideas.

9. 9:20 – electro-acoustic work with other instruments manipulated on tape, very atmospheric and unsettling, with a big crescendo midway through.

[Fo] 1/6/06

Track Listing
1. Xi'an Medley   5. Outside The Wall: Motion
2. The Greening   6. Outside The Wall: Transformation
3. 3 Variations On The Theme Of Plum Blossom   7. Outside The Wall: Release
4. Outside The Wall: Perception   8. Purple Lotus Bud
  9. Bamboo, Silk And Stone