SUN is out now!
Reylon's first solo EP features five core works of classical yangqin music.
Digital downloads available for purchase on Bandcamp.
courtesy of Jason Jong
Reylon plays the yangqin, a percussive string instrument also known as the Chinese hammered dulcimer. With fifteen years of training in Chinese classical repertoire, his experience extends to classical crossover, indie folk, and experimental improvisation. After winning multiple U.S.-based competitions, Reylon became the first American to enter a professional yangqin competition in China and won a silver prize at the 2014 Baotou International Dulcimer Arts Festival. In the following year, he began collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble and has since performed with them in the U.S., Canada, and China at various venues, including TED and Lincoln Center. He appeared as a featured artist on the Silk Road Ensemble's 2017 GRAMMY Award-winning album, "Sing Me Home."
As a Chinese American, Reylon thinks of the historically cross-cultural yangqin as an interface for sounding out transnational Chinese identity. One of his aims in performance and composition is to question the widespread assumption that China and the West are mutually exclusive.
"Rituals and Resonances" is a new composition by Alex Ho that grapples with abstractions of heritage, the tenuousness of cultural identity, and feelings of nostalgia for a place one does not call home. This performance was part of the Passiontide at Merton new music festival and took place at Merton College Chapel, Oxford, in March 2018.
"Yao Dance" is a popular 20th-century instrumental piece originating in the Yao community of southern China. In April 2015, Reylon performed this piece with world-renowned musicians Wu Man and Haruka Fujii in Sanders Theatre at Harvard.
"St. James Infirmary Blues" Reylon joined Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble, and Rhiannon Giddens at MSR Studios to record this tantalizing rendition of an American classic, arranged by Michael Ward-Bergeman for the album "Sing Me Home."
"Turceasca" is a Roma piece that Reylon performed with the Silk Road Ensemble at TED in February, 2016. The performance took place in Vancouver.
"Supermodel" is a track from SZA's 2017 album "Ctrl." This is Reylon's first video playing yangqin while singing.