Min Xiao-Fen with River Guerguerian
Music for Two Silent Films from the 1920's
“ The jazz world’s most authoritative voice on pipa.” –WBGO Take Five
Few artists have done more to both honor and reinvent the 2000-year history of the pipa than soloist, vocalist, and composer Min Xiao-Fen. Classically trained in her native China, she served as a principal pipa soloist at Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra and was an in-demand interpreter of traditional music before relocating to the United States and forging a new path for her instrument alongside many of the leading lights in modern jazz, free improvisation, experimental and contemporary classical music. Notable works include the deeply personal release, Mao, Monk and Me (2017), and White Lotus (2017), which served as her original score to the 1934 silent film The Goddess. Xiao-Fen brings to Big Ears Festival her most recent project: a commission from the Smithsonian Institution to compose soundtracks for two Chinese historical silent films, Romance of the Fruit Peddler and Romance of the Western Chamber. These evocative scores are brought to life in an enchanting performance with master percussionist River Guerguerian.