Today on Bela Discovers we will explore the truly hypnotizing musicianship of Min Xiao-Fen. I first heard about her from a mutual friend in The Netherlands, and going to see her concert was one of the first things I did when I moved to New York.
The best way for me to explain my admiration for Min Xiao-Fen is to talk for a moment about my uncle, Aaron Keydar. Aaron always tells me that when he takes a piece of wood to carve a sculpture out of, he looks at the wood and tries to see what it is. If he can’t see right away, he would start working and wait for the moment when the wood would tell him what it wants to be. Then, it is Aaron’s job to remove everything that the wood is not.
So, the wood is important, but so is the no-wood around it.
Watch Min Xiao-Fen’s hand as it plucks the strings of the Pipa. Everything that is graceful, precise and majestic about it, remains there when she does not pluck the strings. The way her hand moves through the silence is just as artful, just as precise. It is like a conversation between lovers: what is said is often the least important part.