“between us ... deserts and mountains”

Worldmusic is an established item in jazz and pop music. Slowly one becomes more and more aware of such music also existing in Classical and New Music, especially since Yo-Yo Ma's “silkroad project”. In our projects we have always searched to meet other musical cultures. In the concert series “aXes” amazing meetings with different artists happened. Our project “between us ... deserts and mountains“ is a consistent development of these ideas. Together with the Chinese GuZheng player Zhao Chan Yuan we developed a concert programme which features the meeting of Chinese and European musical languages in a sensual way.

The way from China to Europe is long, sandy and stony. These old cultures are far distant to each other in both a geographical and an emotional sense.  “between us … deserts and mountains” shows distance but also closeness and brotherhood of these musical cultures. Music is like a worldwide language and has the power to overcome distances and to establish closeness. The roots of the European musicians of sonorfeo touch the roots of the Chinese Zheng player Zhao Chan Yuan. Also, the contemporaneous dreams and imaginations of the European and Chinese musicians touch each other in deserts of distance and mountains of common sense.

The meeting with Zhao Chan Yuan was a happy and lasting experience for us. We knew that music is something like a worldwide language, but we had to make this experience to be understood and that this sentence is more than a romantic statement. At the beginning we played as if we were in a dens fog. We thought that we were not able to understand each other’s music and felt like being far away, together with sounds and symbols, which “nobody had ever seen before”. Then, we quickly realized that we strongly understood each other in an instrumental and musical way, as if we had known each other for a very long time. We rarely felt happier in a musical meeting. That is why we had to play together!

Foto: Dietmar Wehr