Sounds of the trombone, cello, pipa human voice and a variety of electronic remedies are conjured to form the psychoacoustic duo of Brooklyn’s Rick Parker and China’s Li Daiguo. “The sounds that the two create together are uncategorizable, a fluid blend of past and future, traditional and modern. They move from the ambient to the abstract, with folk-like acoustics colliding strangely with sci-fi electronics.” (Shaun Brady). With performances and recording sessions over the last 2 years in both NYC and Dali, a small city in southwest China, Parker and Li will release their debut record, Free World Music, on Brooklyn’s Very Special Recordings and the eleven2eleven record label in May 2016.
Their unlikely collaboration began in 2014 with Parker’s visit to Li’s current hometown of Dali where they performed and recorded. Later that fall, Li travelled to NYC where they spent another day in the recording studio and performed concerts at Manhattan Inn and Trans-Pecos presented by Lucas Ligeti’s Pigeon Culture. Their performance in Philadelphia presented by Fire Museum was also named a 2014 Best Performance in Philadelphia by Ken Weiss in Cadence Magazine. In the summer of 2015, they were invited to take part in a week long composition residency at COART in Lijiang, China which culminated in a concert of the music they created together during that week.
Both musicians have shaped their own successful careers on their own. Li Daiguo is a major figure in the experimental traditional music world in China and abroad. The multi-instrumentalist has performed solo concerts on cello, pipa, throat singing and beat boxing at Paris Cite De La Musique, Sonic Protest Festival France, Culturescapes Arts Festival in Switzerland, World Sacred Spirits Festival in India as well as festivals all over China. He has also composed for the Guangzhou Modern Dance company, Guangzhou Ballet company, Nobu Khan Malaysian Butoh Dance festival and has released numerous recordings on his own.
Combining jazz, experimental, electronic and rock, Rick Parker casts a broad net with his trombone playing augmented by electronics and synthesizers. His music has been described as “an expressive new-breed fusion, informed by a few generations of downtown experimentation.” Nate Chinen, New York Times. He leads/co-leads several groups including: jazz quintet, the Rick Parker Collective; Little Worlds a trio dedicated to the performance of Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos and 9 Volt with Eyal Maoz. These groups have 5 releases on labels including OutNow Recordings, Fresh Sound New Talent and eleven2eleven. Parker has worked with a large cross section of notable musicians including Tim Berne, Mingus Big Band, Charli Persip, Frank Lacy, Ravish Momin’s Tarana, Super Hi-Fi, Tim Kuhl, Beninghove’s Hangmen, hip hop legends the Wu Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah, DMC and mexican pop stars Ximena Sariñana and Natalia LaFourcade.
released July 8, 2016
Li Daiguo - Pipa, Cello, Effects, Voice
Rick Parker - Trombone, Effects, Synths
Tracks 1-4 recorded October 30, 2014 at Degraw Sound, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Engineer: Ben Rice
Tracks 5-7 recorded July 13, 2014 at Fishman Studios, Caicun, Dali, Yunnan, China
Mixed and mastered by Joe Branciforte at Greyfade Studio, Brooklyn, NY
A two-headed ancient, science fiction, pharmaceutical entity casting shadows in Brooklyn and Dali commingles sounds of the trombone, cello, pipa, voice and a variety of electronic remedies to create audio healing potions.
supported by 4 fans who also own “Free World Music”
This album could easily have been just a less-than-reverential pastiche of its source material, or worse, an ersatz tourist piece that reduced the original Congolese musicians to mere drum-banging curiosities. Mercifully, Peder Mannerfelt has used modern studio technology to reinterpret and expand their extraordinary sound, the result being a remarkably cohesive and dynamic record that demands all the attention you can give it. Brilliant. Nic Brown