Chai Found Music Workshop is a contemporary “silk and bamboo” music group that is rich in artistry and creativity. Following their Eastern Instrumental Theater series albums Ambush and Journey to the West, in autumn of 2011 they released the artistic genre-crossing production Limitless. Inspired by the 24 yearly solar terms as interpreted in Daoist thinking, it reflects the changing of the seasons through our lives. Centered on all-original silk and bamboo music compositions with arrangements that incorporate modern elements, the music on this album retains the poetic grace of traditional music while at the same time possessing the unrestrained power of contemporary music.
Eastern Instrumental Theater III: Limitless
Following their 2005 album Ambush, which dealt with the Confucian view of human relationships, and their 2009 album Journey to the West, which focused on Buddhist thought, Chai Found Music Workshop once again used the Eastern Instrumental Theater concept to fuse music, theater and dance and in autumn 2011 released their latest work, Limitless. The music theater used the Daoist “observe everything while remaining obscure” view of how to live in society as a connecting thread to take a new look at life through a modern perspective. At the same time, it used the changing of the seasons to show the Daoist view of nature and as a metaphor for the constant transformation of the environment through time, just as, with the bearing and honor of a knight, we struggle with ego, environment, reality and memory throughout our lives.
As far as musical style is concerned, traditional instruments are used to portray the feelings evoked by the natural revolution of the four seasons through spring winds, summer birds, the autumn moon and winter snow. The group’s leader Huang Zhengming has used his skill with the vocabulary of traditional music to write exquisite, profound and tension-filled melody lines. With the addition of the compositions and arrangements of popular music’s Zhan Xunwei, the music has the appeal of folk operas and ballads that avoid excessive elaboration, and in the “Autumn” and “Winter” sections the listener can hear a compositional style that has the rebelliousness of rock and yet is full of passion and purity.
About Chai Found Music Workshop,
Chai Found Music Workshop was founded in 1991. In addition to performing traditional Chinese music and Taiwanese music, in recent years they have devoted considerable effort to composing and performing contemporary music and touring to promote silk and bamboo music. Chai Found Music Workshop is often invited to perform internationally and introduce the traditional music, instruments and composers of Taiwan. As a result, they have traveled all over Taiwan, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Chai Found Music Workshop’s productions are based on traditional instruments, with traditional music serving as a foundation, and then extended into modern forms. Whether the works in question are straightforward instrumental music or musical theater forms that incorporate theater and dance, they are all based on the core concept of expanding the field for the creation of art.