CHINA Hok-Man Yim: Poems of Thunder (Percussion) (Hok-man Yim) (Naxos: 76002-2)
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Yim Hok-Man is a true master percussionist. Respected throughout the East Asia continent, he started drumming when he was just ten years old. Besides refining his drum technique and skill in Chinese music, Mr. Yim further emphasized his standing by studying and becoming an accomplished percussionist in Western music too. Performing in various ensembles through his career, Yim has proved himself internationally as a drum expert.
But the Chinese music of his homeland remains his specialty. With his powerful recording Poems Of Thunder, Yim now aims to introduce the world to percussion sounds integral to Chinese folk music. From Beijing Opera to Cantonese tunes, to folk melodies of South Jiangsu province and the Zhoushan Islands, to the contemporary compositions of modern composer, Yim gives us a cross section of Chinese music as it was meant to be heard - as stunning, dramatic music that demand a listener's attention.
Recorded inside the China Central Television Studios of Beijing using the latest studio technology, Yim has produced an extraordinary record of exceptional performances, capable of delicate and whimsical subtleties one minute and rhythmically powerful dynamics the next. Backed by the Central Virtuosi conducted by Xia Fei-Yun, Poems Of Thunders' range of percussive sounds is a revelation and a stellar introduction for western audiences.
At fourteen, Yim was already studying with China's Central Philharmonic and stayed as a member of the orchestra for twenty years. Over his career, he has performed with some of the most renowned ensembles of the region as a soloist. In 1984, Yim joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra as the Percussion Principal and has toured with them through China, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan and the United States. Currently, he is also an instructor at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
Poems Of Thunder is Yim's first recording in years, and demonstrates his commitment to performing music with progressive integrity. There is the sprite and humourus tone of the opening modernist composition, 'Poem Of Chinese Drum' - by Li Zhen-Gui and Tan Dun. But the record is even more fond of presenting the Sino-regional charm in works like 'The Golden Peasant Flying Out Of The Mountain' (folk music of the Tujia tribe) and 'Big Gun Shooting Towards The Sky' (folk gong and drum music in Sichuan province). Through it all is Yim's distinctive and dexterous drumming.
With the debut of his astonishing Poems Of Thunder - available at Naxos World's very affordable budget price no less - Yim is set to bring all the beauty and power inherent in Chinese music from the mainland out to the world stage.