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Christopher Roberts

Last Cicada Singing

Label: Cold Blue Music

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Four serene, unique, and entrancing pieces for solo qin (a zither-like Chinese instrument). Quiet, sparse, almost Feldmanesque, almost delta-blues-like, too. Performed by the composer, Christopher Roberts, who mastered the qin while living and teaching for many years in Taiwan. (He performs on a qin built by Lin Li-Zheng.)

Christopher Roberts writes about the piece:“Chinese scholars in antiquity took their qins to the mountains to compose music in accord with the aesthetics of nature. They developed string techniques to convey the movements of birds, insects, streams, even zephyrs and mist. Gesture became music, a tactile rhetoric to describe the most distant or delicate notions. Silence was an integral motif. I was inspired by the old qin books of music notation and extended the calligraphy to include a contemporary language.”



“So Confucius walks into a bar, just in time for Bill Evans’s last set, and after closing time pulls out his qin for a few solos.… That’s the vibe that Christopher Roberts captures in these intimate nocturnal musings where crystalline harmonics dance among gutsy bass slides while elegant harmonies whisper their most private thoughts. A truly haunting recording.” —John Schneider, Host of KPFK’s Global Village


“Notes are flexed and twirled to produce a malleable presence. One is reminded of fireflies cavorting in a twilight garden…. While melodic in character, the actual melodies are elusive.” —Sonic Curiosity

Cat. number: CB0034
Year: 2009

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