Min Xiao-Fen – Pipa, Ruan, Sanxian, Sound Effects, Voice
Rez Abbasi – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
A Sunday afternoon treat for cinephiles and music aficionados alike! Roulette hosts the world premiere of The Goddess, a 1934 Chinese silent film accompanied by a live score from Min Xiao-Fen. The performance features Rez Abbasi on guitar and Min Xiao-Fen playing multiple Chinese plucked instruments and voice.
One of the best known films of China’s cinematic golden age, The Goddess tells the story of a devoted mother who fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China. Min’s score references numerous genres, including Tibetan Buddhist chants, and seeks to traverse existing cultural and musical boundaries by creating a new work filled with deep and soulful musical expression.
Hailed by The New York Times as a “fearless practitioner of the pipa” and by Village Voice as an artist who “has taken her ancient Chinese string instrument into the future,” Min Xiao-Fen was the first Chinese artist invited by Lincoln Center to perform the work of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Known for her virtuosity and fluid style, Min’s most recent projects, From Harlem to Shanghai and Back with her Blue Pipa Trio, and her solo album, Mao, Monk and Me, have redefined and expanded her instrument’s possibilities as an element for contemporary composition with traditional roots, tacking fluidly between the extended techniques of free improvisation, jazz, full-on noise and contemporary classical vocabulary. Min has been a curator at The Stone and the Museum of Chinese in America. In 2017, she was an artist-in-residence with the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and a guiding artist for the Creative Music Studio in New York. She is the founder of Blue Pipa Inc. and currently lives in New York City.
Voted #1 “Rising-Star Guitarist” in 2013’s DownBeat Critics Poll and successively in the “Top-Ten Guitarists” in 2015, 2016, and 2017 alongside Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny, guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi has become one of the most significant voices on the current jazz scene. Making New York home for the past 25 years, Abbasi has created a unique sound that is stimulated both by his jazz pedigree and South Asian upbringing. His arranging, playing and production work for vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia has helped her garner multiple Juno awards. Along with receiving three grants from Chamber Music America, he was recently commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival to compose a new score to the 1929 silent Indian film A Throw of Dice, to be performed live by his film quintet.