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Cheng Yu – Silk Breeze

China / UK

The centuries-old sound of rural China

With compositions with titles such as High Mountain and Flowing Water, it’s unsurprising that the music of Cheng Yu really connects with nature. So it made her, and her group Silk Breeze, the ideal guests to invite to contribute to the WOMAD At Home series of performances, the online, lockdown-friendly version of your favourite global music festival. Here the four musicians sat themselves down in the pastoral grounds of Real World Studios, on the banks of the millpond and its, appropriately enough, flowing water. Cheng Yu plays two instruments in particular –a four-string lute called the pipa and the gugin, a seven-string zither-like affair, which is China’s oldest stringed instrument. And in Cheng Yu’s playing, millennia of musical history are revealed, unfurling and unfolding like a delicate flower reaching for sunlight. The natural surroundings of Charlton Park will offer another perfect arena for this beautiful music.