LIMERICK musician and field recordist Brendan Donnelly teamed up with musician Benat Fuentes from the Basque region of Spain to form China Field Recordings in 2012. Using portable recording equipment the duo travelled throughout the Zhejiang region capturing the sounds of rural Chinese folk and ethnic music, performed by local singers and musicians on location in southeast China. The fruits of that endeavour can be heard on the album ‘Zhejiang Recordings’ on the website www.chinafieldrecordings.com
Earlier this year, taking inspiration from the Zhejiang recording sessions, Brendan Donnelly and Benat Fuentes recorded the album ‘Te-Uhinak: Songs Inspired by China Field Recordings’.
Te-Uhinak is a 14-track album of original music. It mixes atmospheric European roots sounds with moments from the duo’s recording experience in China.
Te-Uhinak takes the listener on a journey from the opening track played by Limerick’s Matt Bashford on uilleann pipes through to the field recordings of Buddhist chanting at LingYin temple Hangzhou China. Along the way musicians Brendan Donnelly and Benat Fuentes lay an intriguing backdrop of contemporary roots music interspersed with recordings of Chinese folk singing and instruments such as ErHu and Dizi.
Matt Bashford on Uilleann pipes opens and closes the record with stirring performances, the sound of the guitars that underpin much of Te-Uhinak are so wonderfully realised that you can feel their warm dark tones as if they were being played right next to you.
‘Te-Uhinak: Songs Inspired by China Field Recordings’ is an intriguing musical trek across the globe. The record is out now on Hotsak Records, www.hotsak.com