Cocoon is the first part of a contemporary music trilogy titled, I Am The Silk Road. Like the Silk Road in ancient times, this project is a space where cultures meet and intermingle, trading goods and ideas.
Mindy Meng Wang (China/Australia) is a guzheng virtuoso and part of a significant movement of Chinese musicians redefining their musical traditions while at the same time reinvigorating them. Wang is originally from Lanzhou in north western China and is now resident in inner Melbourne. Australian Art Orchestra, with the support of Australia Council and Creative Victoria, commissioned Wang to compose a new 35min work for the 2017 OzAsia Festival that will eventually form part of a larger concert-length suite.
Cocoontracks Wang’s journey from her home in Lanzhou to the UK where she was based for many years before coming to live in Australia in 2014. It also traces her journey from her musical beginnings in the traditions of the guzheng through to her involvement with the avant-garde scene in London.
Wang composed Cocoonfor a chamber formation of AAO musicians that includes violin, contra bass, electronics, shakuhachi, bass trombone, saxophone and percussion, to create delicate textures that express both a yearning for home and the restless urge to travel and discover the new.
Wang is a versatile Chinese Australian musician, teacher and composer. Her cultural background influences her unique style, exploring the fertile space between traditional Chinese and contemporary experimental and improvised practices. Wang has studied the guzheng in China with leading masters since the age of seven. Before coming to Australia, Wang lived in London and performed at high profile festivals and shows including at O2 Arena with Gorillaz.
‘Excitingly noisy, energetic and almost erratic.’
‘Riveting from its very first moment.’
‘Cocoon is wonderfully coherent and engaging musically.’
‘Embodies an East-West musical duality.’
‘Soaring, multidirectional composition for guzheng.’
‘Cocoon courses elegantly through genres.’
‘The guzheng … is a thrilling foundation for this sophisticated work.’
‘Audiences are left in awe of Wang’s versatility, fluidity and command.’
‘Cocoon is a daring and audacious piece.’
‘An absolute musical delight.’