New Directions for Asian Instruments
“Mei Han and Randy Raine-Reusch redefine the zheng, and challenge the world of Chinese music in general. Together they have invented new tunings, developed virtuosic techniques, expanded old structures and created radical new forms of expression on this ancient instrument. These two innovators boldly step from the past to the future, constructing exciting new forms of expression for this new Millennium.” China Daily, Beijing
Mei Han and Randy Raine-Reusch have created a radical new repertoire, combining five thousand years of Chinese musical traditions with those of New Music, World Music, and Jazz. These rich innovations result from the collision of two cultures: Chinese virtuoso Mei Han's deep roots in traditional music and the modern innovations of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine-Reusch. Mei Han is a rare blend of virtuoso performer and scholar, whose career spans five continents. Her performances range from traditional Chinese to orchestra and chamber works to jazz and free improv. Her recordings with prominent international artists are heard around the world. Randy Raine-Reusch is a composer, international concert-artist, and multi-instrumentalist with a collection of over seven hundred world instruments. Specializing in New Music for world instruments, he has worked with some of the worlds most prominent artists in numerous genres, including: Pauline Oliveros, Aerosmith, Yes, The Cranberries, Robert Dick, Barry Guy, and Sainkho Namtchylak
Performing powerfully evocative landmark compositions for the Chinese zheng, a 21 string long zither, Mei and Randys performances often feature a host of other rare and unique instruments to the contemporary stage. These include thesoulfully philosophical Japanese ichigenkin (1 string zither), the deeply esotericJapanese sho (bamboo mouth organ), the triumphant Thai Khaen (bamboo mouth organ), the plaintive Chinese bawu (free reed pipe), the hauntingly beautiful hulusi (free reed pipe) and the radiant dizi (transverse flute). Han Mei and Randy Raine-Reusch are transporting the zheng and other Asian traditional instruments well beyond the borders of Asia, from culturally specific instruments to seriousinstruments for the international stage.
Recent performances include: Hanoi Vietnam, WOMADelaide - Australia, National Ethnology Museum - Osaka, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival - Canada, theRainforest World Music Festival - Malaysia, WOMAD - Singapore, CHIME Conference on Asian Music - Prague, and the Awesome Africa Festival - Durban.