The Narrow Garden is the new album from Seattle composer Eyvind Kang. A multi-instrumentalist, Kang is well-known for his string arrangements and recordings with John Zorn, Sun City Girls, Mike Patton, John Doe and Bill Frisell.
Kang has released many recordings of original music, including the acclaimed choral piece Athlantis (Ipecac) and The Yelm Sessions (Tzadik). The Narrow Garden is no exception, offering one of his most original and perhaps one of his most playful recordings to date. The album was recorded in Barcelona (Spain) with a group of thirty musicians directed by Kang.
“I composed most of the songs at a pond on Vashon Island,” explains Kang. “I also went down to Yelm and Olympia, and music just came to my head. There were birds, plants and flowers. Then again, I’ve been working on variations of the ‘narrow garden’ idea since the mid-’90s. It’s a concept of love, of poetry, like a troubadour or ashugh, courtly love that goes in two directions. One direction is the more ineffable, kind of delightful, growing ever more lush, almost feels like fainting type – which is the idea of ‘Pure Nothing’ – there’s nothing there, there’s no idea. In the other direction there is the implication of a kind of violence.”