|CD - Road to Kashgar|
Listen to the CD: ROAD TO KASHGAR (excerpts)
Maqam: Prelude and Dance
- Zhou Ji, Shao Guangchen and Li Mei, arr.: Mei Han
Maqam is a musical form found throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Xinjiang province of
northwestern China. It is generally defined as a sequence of notes with rules that define its general
melodic development, each maqam having a different character conveying a mood. In Xinjiang, maqams
are sometimes considered “suites” defining a specific mood, or moods. Xinjiang maqams can include
instrumental, vocal and dance music, often with complex rhythmic patterns and dramatic tempo
The Winged Horses of Heaven
- Moshe Denburg, 2001
In 138 BC, the emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty sent his general Zhang Qian to contact a western tribe to
solicit help to fight invaders from the north. After 13 years of arduous journeys, adventures and
misadventures, Zhang Qian returned with news of a stronger and faster breed of horse to help in the
wars. Thought to be of celestial origin, these now extinct horses were the compelling motivation behind the opening of a permanent route to the west of China and beyond. This work was commissioned by the Orchid Ensemble through the Commissioning of Canadian Compositions program of the Canada Council for the Arts.
- arr.: R. Raine-Reusch, M. Denburg, & Orchid Ensemble
In the 10th Century, a number of Persian Jews traveled through the Silk Road to settle in Kaifeng, central China. The community they founded still survives today observing Jewish holidays and customs. This arrangement of an Ashkenazi sacred song is a contemporary tribute to the fusing of these cultures.
- Prashant J. Michael, R. Raine-Reusch & Orchid Ensemble
Orchid’s arrangement of this Bengali folk song is a blend of Indian and Persian elements within a contemporary framework, and embodies the cultural blend symbolized by the Silk Road. Iranian singer Amir Haghighi’s voice adds the magical touch to this piece.