Yang Chen’s debut album, longing for_, is a prismatic sonic refraction. The Toronto percussionist worked with a broad swath of North American composers, fusing diverse, sometimes disparate, ideas into a wide-ranging, cohesive picture. Chen’s adventurous vision and artistic identity are the points of light. This collaborative process with each composer casts a wide net but remains interconnected and difficult to separate. In that sense, longing for_ is a marvel.
Working with Sara Constant, “silt” is an instinctive scattering of emotive tones and textural details. The minimal palette and approach allow each sound to gather its own gravity in its own time. This space gives “silt” an air of freedom and infinite possibility, borne from the unique process the duo used for the piece. Constant asked Chen to interpret 15 watercolor images, using the results to shape into a graphic score and text for the two to play. This heightens the collaborative spirit and adds a thread of spontaneity and joy to the piece.
As with the rest of the album, Chen commissioned a video for “slit.” Working with Serville Poblete and Luisana Reyes, the abstract narrative heightens an invisible emotional framework. Paired with the video, “silt” becomes otherworldly. It’s a delight to get lost within.
longing for_ will be released on November 11 by People Places Records. Pre-order HERE.