The Singing Gobi Desert
The Singing Gobi Desert
- Review of our concert with @crossingchoir from @PhillyInquirer: t.co/4xiOKXlrpV @Gavin_Bryars #TheFifthCentury
- Final bows with @crossingchoir and @prismquartet at the Crane Arts Centre Philadelphia: t.co/rAH9NC6Xa7
- Incredible response to @crossingchoir & @prismquartet in Philadelphia last night for premiere of The Fifth Century. #MonthOfModernsFestival
- Thank you to everyone who came out to support us tonight! Thanks to @prismquartet for joining us. Thanks to @Gavin_Bryars for your gift.
- Great turnout for @crossingchoir. Works by Stratis Minakakis, Tõnu Kõrvits, and Gavin Bryars. @prismquartet Awesome! t.co/q9chk59KmV
“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.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"['Singing Gobi Desert" ... is upbeat and enticing, the saxophones providing harmonic groundcover for the piercing strings and the reedy sheng. ... What makes PRISM’s work so successful is that they work as a choir, not forcing the saxophone sound from top to bottom. And from Philadelphia to China they’ve created a remarkable mix."