The Squid's Ear Magazine

Gottschalk, Gunda / Xu Fengxia: You Lan (Les Disques Victo)

A duo of contrasts and compatabilities from German violinst Gunda Gottschalk and guzheng virtuoso Xu Fengxia, exotic and beautifully textured improvisation live from Victoriaville, 2008.

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product information:

UPC: 777405011725

Label: Les Disques Victo
Catalog ID: VICCD117
Squidco Product Code: 12228

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at the 25th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville on May 18, 2008.


Gunda Gottschalk-violon, voice

Xu Fengxia-guzheng, voice

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Impressive in its own way was the duo of violinist Gunda Gottschalk and guzheng virtuoso Xu Fengxia, in whose hands contrasting roots in Western and Eastern classical musics stretched to become a common fabric, an expressionist ground in which strings and voices could move from song-like repose to chattering, screaming nightmare."-Stuart Broomer, Musicworks.

Artist Biographies

"Gunda Gottschalk plays improvised and contemporary music and combines her musical work with other art forms such as dance, theater, film, composition, visual art and literature.

Born in 1969. Lives in Wuppertal, Germany.

Classical violin studies with Johannes Prelle and Susanne Imhof at the State Hochschule for Music in the Rhineland. Further master classes and private studies with Stefan Picard, Antje Weithaas, Sascha Bron and Angelika Budde.

Since 1991, Gunda Gottschalk has been a member of Partita Radicale, a quintet for new and improvised music. Besides developing original improvisation cycles, Partita Radicale became known to a broader audience through their silent movie programs with live music, music theater productions and collaborations with composers.

In 1994/95 the violinist met the bassist Peter Kowald, who during this year carried out his project "365 Tage am ORT" (365 Days in Place) in Wuppertal. She performed in Peter Kowald's Ort-Ensemble and with important international soloists for improvised music such as Joelle Leandre, Carlos Zingaro, Even Parker.

1995-2002 Together with Xu Feng Xia she made up the core trio of Peter Kowald's "Global Village" Ensemble, which brought together musicians from radically different cultural heritages. In ensembles ranging from trio to sextet, "Global Village" concertized in Europe and the USA. Among the many guest artists collaborating with the trio were Jin Hi Kim, Savina Yannatou, Pamela Z, Jeanne Lee, Otomo Yoshihide, Le Quan Ninh.

Since 1995 Gunda Gottschalk has worked with the Belgian bassist Peter Jacquemyn. Their duo-CD "e pericoloso sporgersi" was awarded a prize in the young artist forum of the international Society for New Music and Ensemble Modern.

In 1998 the French pianist Christine Wodrascka founded the Trio "KRIZDA" with Isabelle Duthuit and Gunda Gottschalk.

Together with Thomas Beimel, Gunda Gottschalk received a work and production stipend in 2001 from the Film Foundation of North Rhine - Westphalia which was used to realize the radio play "Das Paradies" (Paradise).

Solo tours in 2002 and 2003 took the musician all over the USA. There she played with William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Assif Tsahar, Michael Zerang, Oliver Lake and Fred Frith among many others.

Gunda Gottschalk has been well represented on festivals of contemporary and improvised music all over Europe and is a regular guest at the avant-garde festival "visions" in New York."

-Gunda Gottschalk Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"When Xu Fengxia was 5 years old she started to learn instruments. She first played the Chinese lute "Pipa", but when she started to study at the Shanghai Music Conservatory she focussed on the "Sanxian" (usually a plucked instrument, but as you can see it also is possible to use a bow!). The picture was taken during her first solo concert at the Conservatory. She mastered four instruments: guzheng, guqin, sanxian and a small lute called liuqin. After her graduation Xu Fengxia joined the famous Shanghai Orchestra of Chinese Music. She worked there as a soloist on the sanxian. Some of her early solo work has been documented on a Hugo Records (Hongkong) sampler. Meanwhile Xu Fengxia also played solo music of Paganini and was the soloist in a contemporary concert for sanxian and symphony orchestra.

The 80s brought new cultural influences to China. Young people got interested in Rock and Pop music from abroad. So, Xu Fengxia started to play the bass in Shanghai`s first Ladies Rockband. They played also possible venues from bars to football stadiums.

In the 90s Xu Fengxia began to live in Germany. She joined the Gufeng Ensemble which was the most famous group for traditional Chinese music in Europe.

Xu Fengxia had been playing the first concert with musicians of jazz and improvised music 1990 in Shanghai (with flutist Albert Preisfeld and violinist and composer Lutz Wagner). The 90`s brought a band called Shanghai Connection. It began as a trio with Xu Fengxia, Albert Preisfeld and Lutz Wagner. Later it was a sextet with Rolf Sudmann (piano), Zhang Zhenfang (erhu), Rudi Mahall (clarinet), Roland H.H.Bisswurm (drums), Li Jing Xia (pipa) and Xu Fengxia. They played compositions of Lutz Wagner. This was the first time when Xu Fengxia "got mad" and started improvising.

In the mid 90`s Xu Fengxia began an intensive collaboration with the late Peter Kowald, one of the main figures in improvised music worldwide.With Gunda Gottschalk (violin) and Peter Kowald (bass) Xu Fengxia performed worldwide. The trio which was called "Global Village" played at the Vision Festival in New York, at the Poschiavo,Lucerne and Taktlos festivals in Switzerland. With Peter Kowald and reed player Alfred Harth Xu Fengxia played the Moscow Pushkin Festival. When she had duo concerts with Peter in Boston and New York in september 2002 he all of the sudden died of a heart attack.Xu Fengxia describes Peter Kowald as her main influence to open up for new musical horizons. Also, Peter was a wonderful person and a good friend.The picture was taken after a concert in Hagen/ GermanyXu Fengxia works with composers and orchestras

Until now, Xu Fengxia often plays solo parts in the compositions of Chinese Composers like Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Kee Yong, Xu Shuya, Qin Wencheng and many more. She cooperated with the Nieuw ensemble Amsterdam, the Flemish Symphony Brugge, Ensemble Recherche, Staatstheater Saarbruck and others."

-Xu Fengxia Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Intrada 8:47

2. Melisma 9:55

3. Cascades 8:18

4. Narration 9:23

5. Bordun 11:04

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Stringed Instruments
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings

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Les Disques Victo.

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