A huge name in the world of royalty free music, Kevin MacLeod is a master of the diverse. It’s unsurprising that this is his second time in the Synchedin Spotlight. He applies his compositional excellence to a wide range of styles and genres with flair.
Shenyang, as you may have guessed, whisks the listener away East. Named after a city steeped in history and tradition, the track reflects this with classic Eastern instrumentation and a folky feel. The light-hearted and uplifting melody meanders freely, courtesy of the erhu, also sometimes referred to as the Chinese violin. Heard in unison with the bowed melody is the pipa, which closely resembles a lute.
There is a busy and industrious atmosphere to the track, produced by the accompanying yangqin. This Chinese hammered dulcimer is often responsible for the low-lying momentum heard in lots of traditional Eastern music, but is also versatile in being able to act as harmony and melody at once.
Playful hand percussion adds to the joyful and traditional tone, adding a sense of innocence to the piece. MacLeod has expertly accomplished being able to relax and soothe the listener, whilst also injecting a level of energy and liveliness. From the halfway point of the track, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the track for western folk, with the banjo-like chords and rudimentary wooden percussion. However, the beautiful bowing of the erhu quickly whips you back to traditional Eastern scenes.
We’ve been dreaming of distant lands and foreign adventures a lot lately, so Shenyang is the ideal choice for this week’s Synchedin Spotlight!
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