Taiwanese counter tenor & traditional Chinese lute tunes go Austrian Jazz – and further: from Baroque to Rock!
MOON ON HIGH is the collaboration of renown Taiwanese counter-tenor and lutist, Cheng-Ying Chuang with Austrian multi-instrumentalist Herbert Könighofer and pianist Hannah Eisendle. In the trio-formation, the artists explore the ranges between New Music and Jazz, between European and Asian classics and electronics, between free improvisation and composition, rock and baroque..
Herbert Könighofer – saxes, flutes, vocs, looper, a.o.
Hannah Eisendle – piano, organ, vocs
Cheng-Ying Chuang – counter-tenor, vocs., Liuqin- und Zhongruan-lutes
BRIAN BRAIN enjoys inviting artists into his club audioprovocateur: In the course of this project, these are the acclaimed Taiwanese counter-tenor und lutist Cheng-Ying Chuang and the Austrian piano-virtuoso Hannah Eisendle, who – together with multi-instrumentalist Herbert Könighofer – transcend stylistic boundaries between New Music and Jazz, between European and Asian classics and electronics, between free improvisation and composition, rock and baroque…
As manifold as the musical styles the trio elaborates on, is the very special instrumentation: Herbert Könighofer on contra alto-clarinet, tenor- and soprano saxophone, vocals, piano, guitar and electronic looper, Hannah Eisendle with her vocals, piano and organ and Cheng-Ying Chuang on Liuqin- und Zhongruan-lutes and as a counter-tenor/ vocalist.
Challenged by times in which boarders seem to gain more and more importance in the minds of many, the 3 musicians gather in order to transcend such boundaries: they extract music out of its original context and reshape, combine and interpret it according to their individual conceptions. On various instruments, they explore the sounds of the very moments of their performances and always include the spheres created by the places of performance and the different audiences.
Album: The debut album of the Austrian-Taiwanese trio project captures the encounter of 3 musicians not only deriving from different cultural backgrounds, but also from completely different genres. While Hannah Eisendle is a classic composer and pianist, Cheng-Ying Chuang contributes his expertise and virtuosityboth as a classical European baroque countertenor and traditional Chinese lutist, while Herbert Könighofer adds his experiences as a Jazz musician. By means of improvisation they capture the very moment of their encounters and transcend stylistic boundaries.
In October 2020, the trio toured Taiwan. With an extensive tour-schedule with 10 concerts and 2 workshops within eleven days, the musicians had the chance to perform at various exciting locations and to meet various local and international artists. They performed at: Jiang Shan Yi Gai Suo / Hsinchu, Charity Tea & Music event Boksulao / Tamsui, Lin’s culture / Taipei, Forum Music / Taipei, 182 artspace / Tainan, Sound102 / Tainan, at National Taiwan’s University Centre for the Arts / Taipei
Dadong Culture and Art Center / Kaohsiung, Fo Guang University / Yilan and at Blue Note, Taipei.
In June 2018 Eisendle, Chuang and Könighofer toured Austria as the premiere of the ambitious project. Here’s a few impressions:
TV Studio-Session at Salzburg’s FS1 (interviews in German):
The Austria tour has been friendly supported by:
Herbert Könighofer, multi-instrumentalist. In his project Brian Brain – club audioprovocateur Könighofer collaborates with various renown artists. In his compositions and his spontanous performances, he oscilliates between manifold musical, cultural and thematic aspects. The desire for comfort, the need for withdrawal and reduction to the basics on the one hand and the aspiration towards freedom, interlinking and abundance on the other, are being processed by means of music and translated into musical counter-parts: complex, Zappa-style compositions interact with minimalistic sounds and range from happy tunes to melancholy, challenging and entertaining, self-mockingly and critical. In 2017, Könighofer performed at Delhi Internationals Arts Festival where he encountered Cheng-Ying Chuang and where they could lay the cornerstone for their future collaboration.
Cheng-Ying Chuang read MMus degree in Vocal and Operatic Studies at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2007 and Master degree of Landscape Architecture at University of Pennsylvania at 2003. He was awarded the 2nd prize of 2006 Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize at Birmingham Conservatoire, the Young Star (Voice) of Taipei National Concert Hall in 2008, and Taipei Philharmonic Foundation’s 4th Voice Competition of the Celebration of Arising Stars Festival in 2004. His performances appeared in Taiwan, China, the UK, Germany, France, the US, Canada, and India, in prestigious venues like British Museum, London Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre, London’s Asian Music Centre, Beijing West City Cultural Centre, Taipei National Concert Hall, Suzhou Museum etc. He was nominated in 2010 British Chinese “Big Ben Award” and has produced and toured intercultural world music concert series in Edinburgh Fringe and numerous Taiwan’s performance venues. He taught music at the Academy of Music, Suzhou University of Science and Technology and is the artistic director of Musitonik Ensemble, an intercultural World Music group.
Hannah Eisendle, born in Vienna in 1993, is a composer, pianist and conductor, studying composition (specializing in media composition and applied music) and conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. 2018 she finished her piano studies at the University of Music and Theatre Hamburg.
As a pianist Hannah Eisendle is especially interested in the performance of contemporary compositions. She performs as a soloist, chamber musician, and Lied accompanist. International appearances include i.a. the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, the Carnegy Hall and the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York. She likes to work with artists from different genres, combining styles through improvisation. As a conductor she works as musical assistant for the youth opera productions at the opera house Theater an der Wien.
In her works as a composer Hannah Eisendle takes a great interest in the interaction of visual and acoustic aspects and in cooperations with scientists and artists (theater, dance, literature, fine arts, film). Her works (instrumental and vocal pieces, multimedia compositions, pieces for Big Band, pop songs, and experimental films) have been performed in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Bratislava, Taipei, Paris, Mexico City and New York.