Expertly balancing traditional technique with a visionary and experimental style, Wu Fei is a master of voice, composition and a Chinese zither-like instrument known as a guzheng. From her formative years in Beijing to her years spent at Mills College and beyond, Wu Fei has developed a reputation as a graceful virtuoso whose depth of musical understanding is illustrated in her ability and willingness to go beyond established structures, exploring uncharted musical territory and returning with compositions that are at once daring, profound and beautiful.
A product of the China Conservatory of Music, it was at Mills College that Wu Fei began to push at the boundaries of traditional instrumentation. She began collaborating with a variety of artists such as Bela Fleck, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Cecil Taylor in diverse musical settings that provided a platform from which Wei could experiment with her own styles, technique and compositions. Wu Fei has composed pieces for choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, Balinese gamelan, orchestra, film, and modern dance and has performed in venues around the world including Beijing, Berlin, Rome, Dublin, Oslo, Rotterdam, New York and San Francisco. She is currently a fellow in the Lucas Artists Residency Program at the Montalvo Arts Center.
Falling somewhere between avant-garde, jazz, experimental, traditional Chinese and contemporary music, Wu Fei is a one-of-a-kind artist whose mastery of sound is immediately apparent. From slow and haunting, breathtakingly lovely pieces to boundary-blurring works of rapid-fire technicality and raw, musical expressions of emotion, Wu Fei, with her depth of musical comprehension, is an immensely talented and well-respected artist. As one Paris Transatlantic Magazine writer said, “My soul undergoes a meltdown when Wu Fei’s delicate guzheng figures remind us of the frailty of purpose amidst the often overwhelming forces of life.”
Wu Fei performs on June 24 at the Lucas Artists Programs Commons at Montalvo.