The Erhu, by some referred to as the Chinese violin, has only two strings but a skilled performer can produce an amazing variety of sounds. With no fingerboard, it is a highly versatile instrument, and can be played both as a solo instrument or be part of an orchestra. Played upright on the thigh, a performer can use the pressure of their hand on the instrument to alter the tautness of the bow strings. The Erhu is made of ebony or sandalwood, and has a drum-like body with an open back and a front opening covered with snake skin. The body resonates with the strings, producing a rich and intriguing sound.
I love the enchanting sound of the Erhu, which reminds me of the female voice and its ability to express calm, tender and sonorous melodies. As the title piece on my new album (Lotus Dreams), it is an example that echoes the soaring harmonies of my imagination. The Erhu sings its soulful song throughout. Alternating between tender, sonorous, and stirring, this composition takes us to a place of calm and tranquility — a place where we might all dream of lotus flowers. Listen to Lotus Dreams