FM3 - Ting Shuo《 听说 》

FM3 — Ting Shuo 《 听说 》

S/R, 2014

Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian (FM3) composed “Ting Shuo” (which translates to “listen before speaking”) in a series of random hotel rooms across China and Hong Kong. It’s ambient, meditative music combining a cello, a grand piano, and a Roland keyboard to stunning effect. Acoustic samples are distorted into gorgeous drones that bend and flow freely as the pieces progress. It’s all really beautiful and natural — none of it feels discordant or atonal.

BEST: 3, 4, 6


1. San Lang 三浪 — A single high drone floats around flourishes of cello. Beautiful juxtaposition.

2. Ting Shuo — Gorgeous cello and piano dance around pulsing Kraftwork-esque ambient electronics.

3. Dui Xiang — Super subtle piece with a lot of negative space. Distorted, sustained cello coalesces into a drone.

4. Hei Guan 黑管 — Subdued electronic noise is surprisingly emotive. The piece is marked by sudden gaps in the sound, which leave you wanting more.

5. Fo Wu — Lots of piano chords, with warping, looped electronic noise underneath.

6. Yi Gui — Piano and strings work in concert. The looping electronics form a dystopian background on which the acoustics can operate.

Will Gottsegen