Rimba Kuna (old jungle) is one of two tracks (the other one is Jalak Bali) on “Lotus Dreams” that has strong South-East Asian influences. I used the Indonesian gamelan orchestra to give voice to the Indonesian rainforest, which is home to some of the world’s rarest animals and plants. An instrument with a sound and […]

Inspired by Chinese author Jiang Rong’s novel about the dying culture of the Mongols and the parallel extinction of the sacred Mongolian wolf, the music of Wolf Totem (previously released on the album “Polar Suite”) evokes shaman drums and chanting, perhaps voicing a plea for guidance from the animal spirit of the wolf. Listen to […]

Indigenous to Armenia, the Duduk is a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, with a distinctive velvety and deeply evocative sound. Often played in a pair to create a richer, more haunting sound, the first player plays the melody, while the second one plays a steady drone called dum. Variations of the Armenian Duduk are […]

Silk Road is a composition partly inspired by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the richness that comes from the exchange of ideas and cultures, – a recurring theme in my upcoming album “Lotus Dreams”. In today’s world I find comfort in the Silk Road ensemble, founded by this famous musician. My own Silk Road recalls the […]

Two tracks on my new album “Lotus Dreams” have strong South-East Asian influences. One of these, Jalak Bali, is a tribute to one of the rarest birds in the world, the Bali starling. Again a mix of east and west instruments is used: piccolos sing their voices, and the tune of bamboo flutes call out […]

Moving to the here and now, Liquid Zen ebbs and flows within a new experimental genre called Spacemusic. It will be released on my new album “Lotus Dreams”. This eclectic sub-genre of new-age music is described by Stephen Hill (co-founder of the radio show “Hearts of Space”) as “music that evokes a feeling of contemplative […]

Created by 20th century rice farmers, the Rindik is part of the Balinese Gamelan Orchestra. This 12-keyed bamboo xylophone, tuned to a fairly even-tempered scale, conjures up images of breezy rice fields and sunny days. Last week, I tried playing this instrument with my husband when we visited the Setia Darma House of Masks and […]

Gipar drove us in his motorized becak (motorized rickshaw) through the streets of Yogyakarta and we arrived early at the local Tabubu Ethnic Music Shop that we wanted to visit. A couple of Angklung were hanging outside the entrance to the store, and while we waited for the store to open Gipar taught me how […]

Who would have thought I had to come all the way from Alaska to hear Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh play in the Netherlands. Yesterday, at music theater Musis in Arnhem, Azmeh joined forces with trumpetist Eric Vloeimans and pianist Jeroen van Vliet. They call themselves Levanter, referring to a strong easterly wind in the Mediterranean region, […]