Guzheng Goes Pop
Matt Wiviott put together the Guzheng Goes Pop project and asked me to take part. Matt arranged a bunch of familiar pop songs on his Chinese harp (which he usually uses to accompany yoga classes) and then gathered a bunch of Montreal vocalists to perform these songs in concert. The night was recorded.
Here is one of the songs that I sang with Matt on Guzheng :
House of the Rising Sun
“This album was recorded live on Sunday, June 9, 2013; at Espace Pop, in Montreal, Quebec.
The vocalists are Athena Holmes, Amanda Strawn, Ian Macaulay, Jill Campbell, Meghan Riley, Dan Parker, and Kurt Chaboyer.
My instrument is the Guzheng. It was given to me by Rebecca Li, a Chinese exchange student whom I met in a Computer Science class while I was studying Music at McGill University. She gave me an initial lesson; I promptly forgot everything and started messing around. I learned to play the instrument on balconies and in yoga studios.
This project begun as a concept by first renting the space. I knew it would be perfect for filming a video, and later decided to make use of it for the evening as well. I thought to give a meditation concert, as I’ve done in the past. Then it occurred to me that pop music should be played at Espace Pop.
Only after working out the entire repertoire did I approach singers whom I thought might enjoy a song. Something particularly important to me was when songs held some special value to the singer, as these songs sometimes can with all of us. The value of popular music is that it allows a special and particular feeling to be broadly shared, largely because the listener’s familiarity allows her to contribute more deeply to the music. ” – Matt Wiviott