Welcome to this episode of Sonosphere where we underscore Ami Dang, South Asian-American vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer from Baltimore Maryland.
I sat down with Ami in a cafe in Baltimore. We discussed how her cultural heritage rooted in the Sikh religion informs and influences her work today, and how she approaches the sitar while utilizing modern noise, ambient, and electronic sounds in her music.
We also discuss the making of her latest album Parted Plains, which came out earlier this year on Leaving Records. She spoke of how ancient folklore from the east is filtered through the west, and what it’s like to be an American in India and Indian in America. Identity and culture are highlighted in her latest effort. Check out Parted Plains here and take a listen to our conversation below. Enjoy.
Welcome to Sonosphere’s Underscore series where we highlight composers, artists, creators, and more. This episode we highlight Alex Weston, a New York-based composer.
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a composition degree, he then moved to New York. We’ll discuss his time working as music assistant to composer Philip Glass, helping Glass with various film and concert pieces, while also pursuing his own writing. Weston’s music showcases his wide-ranging influences, combining classical structures along with more modern harmonic language, and electronics.
Weston’s music has also been featured on “The Affair” (Showtime), the Ken Burns-produced documentary “The Emperor of All Maladies” (PBS), and various projects for NBC, Netflix and others. His film scores have premiered at festivals around the world including Sundance, and Slamdance.
He’s had concert works commissioned by the Lyrica Chamber Music Ensemble, the Utah Wind Symphony, MADArt Creative, Ballet in the City, and more, including a recent performance at the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts.
This month he released his score for the Lulu Wang film The Farewell. On this episode we talk with him about his process for The Farewell and his approach to music in film versus his approach to commissioned works for live dance and others. Enjoy this month’s Underscore.
In this special, bonus episode of Sonosphere we present An Evening with Wu Fei in collaboration with Crosstown Arts. This is Fei’s live performance at the Crosstown Arts gallery on Cleveland Street in Memphis, TN on June 30, 2017. The intimate space lent itself to an interactive performance between the audience and Wu Fei as she showcases what the guzheng can do through its thousand-year history.
Wu Fei is a composer and guzheng player. She is a native of Beijing and a current Nashville resident. She is a master of the guzheng, the ancient 21-string Chinese zither. At this performance Fei told stories of her upbringing in Beijing, her relentless practice with the guzheng and how she found improv at Mills College as well as through her time in New York’s improv scene. She mixes her Western and Chinese traditional sensibilities with a contemporary, experimental dialect that only Fei can convey in her “down-to-earth,” personable way. We thank her and Crosstown Arts for an amazing show!