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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Image: Supplied.

Chinese/Australian avant-garde composer Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, and her Melbourne-based contemporary Tim Shiel have shared another taste of their upcoming collaborative EP, Nervous Energy 一触即发, due next March. Hidden Qi 隐.气 is the latest track from the pair, released via not-for-profit label, Music In Exile,

Opening with a calming drone melody, the song is built upon steady beats and psychedelic guitar licks, looped guzheng tones captivating listeners. Feeling like you've transcended into a lucid dreamland, the track is accompanied by a hypnotising visual, directed by Athina Wilson and produced by Yang Chen (Eye To Eye). The clip continues the narrative set on the pairs previous release, navigating how the East and West can intersect or collide with one another.

Speaking of the release, Meng Wang shares: “‘Hidden Qi 隐.气’ is filled with powerful, firm but flexible energy. Like the inner strength - Qi of a Kung Fu master in the legend, the Qi hidden flows in his body is free but controlled, like the qualities of mountains, rocks, stars, and rivers...The whole song takes people to a dreamland surrounded by clouds and mist, as if you are floating in the clouds and you saw a martial arts master practising from afar. He jumps so light and moves so fast and sometimes disappears in the trees, the energy wave of his Qi shocked petals off the flower...flying in the sky...”.

Shiel adds: “‘Hidden Qi 隐.气’ introduces a sound that I love that feels unique to the guzheng - which is the sound of a slowly evolving drone, that shifts and squeaks with a beautifully organic quality. I was led by Mindy's technique for this song perhaps most of all, trying to supplement her sound with a simple boom-bap inspired beat and psychedelic guitar flourishes. Midway through the song, it shifts into a cinematic space. I have long had a soft spot for classic 70s film soundtracks from composers like John Barry, Janko Nilovic or Morricone, and I think I ended up channeling a bit of that here.”

Hidden Qi 隐.气 is out now! Watch the music video below.


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