Lee Pui Ming Takiamakan

Toronto’s Lee Pui Ming is a piano innovator on a global scale. This new recording documents a beautifully crafted project bridging Chinese folk music styles and a highly imaginative avant-garde aesthetic. Her emergence as a unique voice in music, in this country and in others, has led her through a variety of performance and recorded situations that reaches furthest in Taklamakan. This is a most unusual record — a collection of simply stated folk melodies played on traditional instruments (xun, satar, dap, guqin), Lee’s understated, but gorgeously evocative piano, prepared and raw, plus collections of found sounds, including speaking voices recorded in China, forest birds, a spinning radio dial, and dripping water playing for the listener with open ears. What’s all so impressive in this disc is how far back Lee is prepared to stand from the sounds, letting them fill the space themselves, as themselves. There’s no other record like this one at all and it comes highly recommended for reasons you’ll discover in your headphones. (Pochee)