Saturday, March 17, 2007
crossing the line:
Avant-garde music fans know Otomo Yoshihide for his turntable-based experiments in sound; but he is one of the few Japanese artists to have gained work within the field of soundtracks for Chinese movies.
This particular soundtrack is from a 1996 film produced by Raymond Chow (of Golden Harvest fame) and is about the drama and humour of Cantonese Opera. Having never viewed the film, i can't comment very much on it's content; but the soundtrack is a very enjoyable listen. Those expecting Yoshihide's brand of glitchy samples will be surprised to discover an album full of soothing soft jazzy pop and dreamy instrumentals. The traditional Cantonese opera style of music is almost absent here; which is surprising, considering the movie's theme. Only tracks 11 and 13 display that particular style of bells, gongs, whistles, and wonderful traditional Chinese instruments. Snippets of the film's dialogue appear within these pieces; adding a nice theatrical feeling to the whole package.
"Hu-Du-Men" is a term from the Cantonese Opera. It refers to an imaginary line between the stage and the backstage areas. When actors cross the "Hu-Du-Men", they should forget themselves and become their roles.
-from the album's liner notes