Chinese erhu master Wei Xiao Dong has released two recordings that present very different aspects on her music. Erhu Solo by Wei Xiao Dong is an acoustic effort that features evocative classical Chinese songs. For this recording, Wei Xiao Dong included the Central National Orchestra of China. She is also accompanied by two additional Chinese instrumentalists. Yaun Ke plays yang qin and Yuan Ding is on piano. The music was conducted by Liu Ju.
A few years ago Wei Xiao Dong moved to Detroit, in the United States and married musician Ken Hottmann, who plays bass, guitar and guzheng. Her new project is called Madame XD, which the publicity materials describes as a world music band. The first work by Madame XD is an EP titled Black Silk. The result is a mixture of Chinese music, pop and rock. The most appealing pieces are “Black Silk,” and “Sorrow of Separation,” where Wei Xiao Dong manages to combine Chinese and western music in an appealing form and could truly be described as world music. The other 3 songs go in a pop direction that barely shows any of her valuable Chinese music roots. Wei Xiao Dong’s contemporary side has great potential and, in the hands of a better producer, she will have a lot to offer.
Wei Xiao Dong was born in Heilongjian Province, China. She began studying erhu with her father at the age of 5. She was accepted to the Central Conservatory of Music in 1980, studying under professors Zhang Shao, Feng Zihao and Zhang Yuming. She has won numerous awards and competitions and has performed throughout China (while working as a member of the China Motion Picture Orchestra), Japan and the USA. Wei Xiao Dong is also an accomplished guzheng player.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.