Hypnotic Sounds of the Chinese Jaw Harp: Wang Li

The Graduate Center Elebash Hall
365 Fifth Avenue
(bet. 34th and 35th Streets)
Trains: B,D,F,M to 34th St.; 6 to 33rd St.
Tickets $25; $20 for Graduate Center Members and Students (contact 212-817-8215 for discount information)

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The Artist

Chinese-born, Paris-based Wang Li is a master of the Chinese jaw harp, sheng reed wind, and calabash flute, creating atmospheric sounds with infinite nuances, using breath techniques and mouth, tongue, and throat vibrations. Contemplative and eloquent, Li's playing on these ancient instruments produces surprisingly modern melodies—dark and dreamy, with almost an electronic dance music sound. Following a strict upbringing in China, Li travelled to France where he joined a monastery, discovering patience and silence, and an understanding that his musical expression comes from his roots. After studying jazz at the Paris Conservatory, he returned to his native region in China, learning from the few local musicians who play the jaw harp.

"… every touch and resonance was audible in detail. His pieces were fascinating, introspective perpetual-motion meditations." - The New York Times