Ent-T The Tea Rockers Quintet : Ceremony (CN,2012)****
This recording, which was probably recorded in one track, as a live improvisation, shows the potential of this band of which one part, the improvisation, guides the band like being inspired by ritual, which is an actual tea ceremony. In that way this element has the aspect of a meditative control, coming out of a breathing silence of activity. This same aspect holds the middle between an eastern way of spatial playing and a form of spontaneous improvisational music, which is equal to all improvisers from around the world. At the same time with its meditative effect of space, a random noise of porcelain activity increased a disturbing error or coincidental effect, a typical Chinese aspect and idea of noise and random disturbance where plugs are being plugged out, sharp peeps are heard, or where distortions are filling up space with interfering tiny spatial contrasts. Someone starts to sing here and small chords emerge and pickings as well, between Chinese and other recognisable pickings forming its own spaces, combined with various combinations of percussion and other percussion effects (like the sound of heated water on iron), which are being are mixed before returning to silence. Some thumb piano pickings are combined with guitar and Chinese zither and wooden block. On the last track you hear the tea ceremony in the sound of the teacups, concluding the ritual this way while the band improvises further in a free oriental way.
You can hear how the band keeps open ears towards each other, still the full amount of elements is not meant to please. It is a form of reality in all its aspects, finding balances and allowing contrasts to express themselves in and with all their aspects. It embraces the true entity of each aspect and gives it various places and forms worth of comparison to eachother. Very interesting and unusual!
The Tea Rockers Quintet consists of field recording/noise artist/poet Yan Jun, folk artist Xiao Heon acoustic guitar and folk instruments, Chinese zither or Guqin master Wu Na, multi-instrumentalist Li Daiguo, and also, tea master Lao Gu.
Their debut album, “Ceremony”, is a recording of their (musical) version to a Chinese tea ceremony. The album was produced by Lior Suliman and Tal Weiss.