In the clear, bright moonlight, time passes like an unending stream, as the stars watch unblinking from above, and from below a whisper of a wind picks up, gently stroking the windowpane between dream and reality. A bountiful imagination can warm the soul as well as a jug of mulled wine; from boundless youth can be woven an aria that will last for eternity; and a dream shrouded in uncertainty can be at times like the pitch black night, at others like the peak of day.
A thousand daggers of light flicker across the horizon at the last moments of evening, angling across the tattered canvas of memory. An impressionistic brush languidly casts strokes which vary between stark and dull, tracing over those glorious moments that will live on forever like the epics of old. The first flower of spring, held in the flowing hair of the young girl, the scent of its petals seeming to fill the world, as if not even time could extinguish it. A dance in the early dusk, at the height of summer, a candle of love burning inside the heart, growing only stronger. Dreams like the song of the reed flute, full of joy, tenderness, passion, hope and longing, overpowering all else.
One’s soul must be carried on the wind, drifting through the lush, verdant valleys, across the vast, barren deserts, over the peaks glistening with icy rock, before finding that which will become one’s own epic poem that will last through the ages. Listen to the immortal legends of youth, as they are constantly reincarnated throughout the oceans of time, ever undying. Revisit the evening of that summer, when the Lovely Rose was first discovered, its scent as vivid as the memory itself, the only thing more lovely being that perfect smile of the Melody of All the Land. Succumb to the Longing of the deep night, and let it out in a song of Arirang, the joys and sorrows of all times past coursing through your veins.
If one were to agree that our lives are series of predestined events, those whom we meet are our destiny, the songs we hear are our destiny, then this compilation, which presents an encounter between folk songs of China and music from the West, full of joy and surprises, would certainly be considered a most serendipitous event. From the east coast of the Eurasian continent to the west, along the stretches of the Silk Road, musical instruments from the Occident bring a novel charm to these tunes that have been sung by all ages through countless years, their tales of affection shining as brightly and eternally as the harvest moon. A small song to express a vast expanse of memory, six strings to give voice to the most beloved recollections.
For the recording of this album, Rhymoi Music producer Ye Yunchuan travelled to the far reaches of Europe, to the historical city of Stuttgart, Germany, where he invited German composers and artists of the classical guitar, one of the three great instruments of the world, to provide the main performances, and invite Grammy awards fourteenth studio master mix well，to create this Western-influenced version of classic Chinese folk songs, as well as a German team of conductors, instrumentalists and recording artists to complete the album’s live recording and mixing. Ye Yunchuan’s goal with this project is to fuse the essence of Chinese music with the spirit of Western music, granting the opportunity to a greater number of Chinese works to enjoy recognition similar to Puccini’s version of “Jasmine Flowers”. Every minute of the live recording sessions was an adventure in musical experimentation, and in order to help the German artists grasp the emotionality of the previously unfamiliar Chinese songs, Ye Yunchuan would vividly recount the many stories upon which the songs were based, much like the Marco Polo of old returning to Europe with tales of the fantastic to share with his compatriots.
For hundreds of years the guitar has captivated listeners with its sound that can be as passionate as molten magma, or as graceful as a young maiden, allowing it to express an astonishing array of emotions and stories. In 1790, Germany penned an important chapter in the history of the guitar, adding the sixth string and retuning the notes, pushing this ancient instrument to the pinnacle of its development. On this compilation, the guitars of the German musicians are at times resonant and terse solos, at others they playfully intertwine with the string and wind instruments, but always exceptionally skilful and epic, and when combined with the lively percussion section, these popular Chinese folk tunes become fused with the precision of classic German culture for a final product which is fascinating to say the least. The 12 songs included on the album unfold before the listening in an impressive range of expressive prowess, from the simplistic and austere, to the complex and mesmerizing, to the deep and meaningful, presenting a poetic panorama of incredible proportion.
Life may be but a dream, in which we seek someone who truly understands us, a song that truly speaks to us. These folk songs, in all their brevity, herald the tales of insurmountable peaks and unforgiving waters, of winds and moons that never linger but never cease to be. These interpretations of timeless classics allow their stories to be seen in a new light, by a new generation. In a blink of an eye a person may be gone, their song remaining forever, their memory clouded by time but never completely shrouded.