August 29, 2017
"We hope you enjoy listening to this record half as much as we enjoyed creating it for you. Because we had a ball. Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullsh*t is here today and gone tomorrow...." - Ellie Goulding (Don't Say A Word)
The Elements Of La Isla
August 14, 2017
On Friday July 21, 2017 at exactly 7:21 PM, I announced that my new single "La Isla" will be available worldwide on August 29, 2017. The announcement couldn't come in at a better time. I was celebrating my birthday and sharing this wonderful news with all of you. I am very excited about this record, I worked extremely hard on it, invested a lot into it and I think the time has come for the world to hear it.
La Isla is a very unique song, it truly is. In the 50 plus years of bachata music, there has never been one like it. It features real live Asian instruments played by authentic Asian musicians. I was so fortunate to have these great musicians on this record, they are very talented and also very passionate about what they do.
Award-winning musician, singer, and groundbreaking arts entrepreneur Feifei Yang, plays her beautiful Erhu instrument in the song. The what you ask? The Erhu, (Chinese Violin) is one of the most important Chinese instruments, with a history of over 4,000 years. Though it has only two strings, it can convey a wide range of emotions.
The Pipa, or Chinese lute, is played by Chen Fan. Most of us would look at it and say that it resembles a guitar which yes it does but there is much more about it than one thinks. The pipa's construction further epitomizes ancient Chinese belief. The body, by traditional Chinese measurement, is three feet five inches, representing the three powers-heaven, the earth, and man, and the five elements-metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Meanwhile, the four strings represent the four seasons. The pluck-playing technique is characterized by spectacular finger dexterity and virtuosic effects, including rolls and percussive slaps. It is one of the most expressive Chinese instruments.
Katelyn Weng plays The dizi or bamboo flute. The Chinese flute is played horizontally, and is commonly carved out of a single piece of bamboo with a cork-lined blow-hole. The dizi is known for its expressive range as well as an inherent ethereal quality. When played, the dizi gives the listener a lofty, sprightly feeling as if floating. It can also bring one to peaceful and grounded retrospection.
Composer, and improvisar, Yumi Kurosawa plays the Koto instrument. The Koto is a traditional Japanese musical instrument. It originated from the Chinese Guzheng but developed its own tradition in Japan since the 8th century. The Koto has a long wooden body and 20 strings, each supported by a movable bridge which determines the pitch and the note. It is played with picks on three fingers of the right hand, while the left hand assists by pressing on the strings or moving the bridges to change the pitch.
Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer plays The Shakuhachi, a Japanese end blown flute that is normally made with 5 holes and tuned to the pentatonic minor scale. It originally came from China and is traditionally made of bamboo, but modern makers sometimes use plastic and hardwoods.
Mix all these instruments with bachata and what do you have? Find out on August 29, 2017.
All about the Shakuhachi Flute by Geoffrey Ellis
The Koto musical instrument by Brittannica
The Erhu, The Pipa, The dizi flute by Shen Yun Performing Arts