Taiwanese jazz pianist and Golden Melody Award winner, YuYing Hsu (許郁瑛), returns with her fifth solo album, "In the Cave". A fusion of her original compositions, improvisational piano playing and electronic music, the album is described as a difficult and fantastical journey that showcases Hsu's willingness to take risks and experiment with sound.
Inspired by the editorial nature of electronic music, Hsu collaborates with Wei-Chung Lin (林偉中) and Jay Cheng (程杰) to explore the intersection of acoustic and electronic music, resulting in an avant-garde album that took two years to complete. During the production process, Lin and Cheng sampled and randomized the material Hsu recorded, and Hsu would overdub the edited patterns with piano improvisation herself or wrote down melodic lines for clarinet players to perform such as track four “Time Traveller with an Ancient Torch in the Cave”.
The album's standout track, "Cosmic Hero", takes the listener on a thrilling and fantastical adventure which reflects the vintage video game The Galaxian. Hsu’s narration was based on the metaphor of the flesh-and-blood pilot in the pixelated spaceship fighting against alien invaders for reasons the players would never know. It's a musical story that showcases Hsu's expertise and spirit, as she fearlessly enters the world of electronic music.
To capture the essence of the collaboration, the team invited filmmaker Wei Hsin Yang (楊偉新) to shoot a short documentary of the production process, recording the boundary breaking moments in the making of "In the Cave". Hsu's comparison of the producers to bread-making perfectly encapsulates the charm of improvisation that is evident throughout the album.
"In the Cave" marks the first step in Hsu's important chapter of sound experimentation with electronic music, revealing her aesthetics, curiosity, and worldview. The album will be digitally released by Fortune Coookie Records (福祿壽音樂) on March 30, with a vinyl release to follow in May. Hsu's latest offering is a testament to her willingness to take risks and experiment with sound, the album is a must-listen for fans of jazz and electronic music alike.