The Singing Gobi Desert

Sax diplomacy
Bright Sheng
Lei Liang
Fang Man
Huang Ruo
PRISM Quartet
Music from China
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Philadelphia, PA

Release Date: 
Mar 25, 2014
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
The Singing Gobi DesertiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
1.The Singing Gobi Desert20:38$-1
2.Messages of White17:28$-1
3.Dream of a Hundred Flowers15:47$-1
4.The Three Tenses14:31$-1

The Singing Gobi Desert

One Sheet: 

“The saxophone’s place in the music world is not at all what Adolphe Sax had in mind when he invented the instrument over 150 years ago. Ascendant in the world of jazz, relatively marginal in Sax’s intended field of classical music, and surprisingly adaptable to various forms of non-Western music, the saxophone family is a marvelous accident of musical history,” WNYC’s John Schaefer writes in the liner notes for the PRISM Quartet’s new innova Recordings release, The Singing Gobi Desert.

Partnering here with the ensemble Music from China, PRISM presents works by four Chinese-born American composers: Bright Sheng, Lei Liang, Fang Man, and Huang Ruo. The Singing Gobi Desert reveals that saxophones and Chinese instruments have a natural, if unexpected, affinity. From Bright Sheng’s title track to Fang Man’s “Dream of a Hundred Flowers” this music is no simple fusion or mashup, but rather a deep integration of traditions, as reliant on the PRISM Quartet’s extended techniques — flutter-tonguing, multiphonics, breath blasts, and key clicks — as on the composers’ abilities to imagine new sound worlds.

For nearly 30 years, PRISM has stood at the vanguard of new music ensembles, commissioning works across a broad spectrum of styles, and demonstrating the saxophone’s versatility. The Singing Gobi Desert embodies PRISM’s commitment to honoring the past and leading the way to the future through relentlessly creative collaboration.