Cheng Huihui: Me Du Ça - Narcissus & Echo - Messe

Album cover art for upc 4010228643220
Label: WERGO
Catalog: WER64322
Format: COMPACT DISC

Ensemble Experimental; Heusinger, Detlef; Kim, Youmi; Frenkel, Noa; Evers, Silke; Chan, Claudia; SWR Experimentalstudio; Ensemble uBu; ensemble mosaik; Cheng, Huihui

On this portrait the Chinese composer Huihui Cheng presents a multi-colored spectrum of playful, mysterious and unreal sounds which are produced both by instrumental/vocal and electronic means. To feature intermedia elements of her work, like dance, performance and video installation, the recording is supplemented with videos and a smartphone game. The works of Huihui Cheng lie in a field of tension between old and new. Titles as “Narcissus & Echo” or “Calling sirens” are borrowed from ancient Greece. On the other hand, the musical language is fresh and is implemented by contemporary means as electronic and video feed. The connection between apparently antithetical or remote things is a central thought in Huihui Cheng‘s work. Expanded sound-sources play an important role in several compositions. The snakelike hair of the soloist in “Me Du Ça” consists of tubes as extensions of the body. Sounds are produced by blowing or scratching and others are triggered, as filters, amplification or delays. Likewise, the sound generation in the piano solo “Messenger“ does not work in conventional manner but through an item of clothing which is connected directly with the strings and brings them into vibration. Booklet author Lydia Jeschke writes that communication is a central topic despite diverse means: “communication, whether between the performers, between humans and machines, or with the audience.“ The composer is particularly interested in social interactions in form of games and similarities to music. In “Your turn” the vocal ensemble is playing a card game. The course is certainly not accidentally but rather obeys concrete compositional specifications. The audience actively takes part in the game as well.