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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

Lars Fredriksson

By John Kuhlman
Published August 23, 2007

Ting Qiu—Listening To Autumn
Country and Eastern

This is a wonderfully understated disc of Chinese cricket songs, lovingly edited down from hundreds of hours of tapes by cricketmeister Lars Fredriksson, and a real comfort to those of us still unsettled by recent trends in pop. These sounds will be familiar territory for many people the gentle mechanical stridulations of the male cricket, rhythmically rubbing his wings together in a musical search for love are so much a part of a Midwestern upbringing that the disc seems to attach itself directly to the nervous system from first listen. Turn up the volume a little bit and the subtleties of the music appear, with different species in ensembles of varying sizes moving almost imperceptibly in and out of sync with each other, creating a seamless, transparent grid of gentle love-clicking, as each cricket tries to make his own voice heard without disturbing the harmony of the group. Fascinating stuff.