Updated: Oct 19, 2020
I only discovered Elizabeth Tsung's new EP "To Return is But a Dream" this morning but the more I read about her the more captivated I become. Her new instrumental compositions for layered violin and piano are visceral and deeply personal.
In an article for "Sleepy Songs" Tsung recounts the experiences that built this release. In short summary, Tsung was studying violin at the university before a sudden car accident put all the music on hold. After a two years hiatus she slowly allowed herself to learn the piano. After some additional physical therapy she allowed herself to pick up the violin again, which lead to her composing her new EP.
Track 1," The Paradox of Happiness" begins as an adagio violin duet before expanding into something entirely unexpected. We gain more harmony and rhythm leading to pizzicato melodies and a witty, meditative state of suspension. I'm reminded of Annie Clark and Yann Tiersen. "Sebastian's Waltz" is drawn out of her personal experience and has a very special dedication. It is simple and beautiful and reminds me of Alexandre Desplat. Track 3, called "Opus 3", is a cool mix of post minimalism and I enjoy the way it changes textures. After 2minutes through the violin climbs up to the high register and it just feels really satisfying. I also listened to the bonus track that comes with a purchase on Bandcamp. It is a preview from her upcoming album. "Ursus Maritimus" is a charming solo piano waltz with Chopin-like qualities and a short rondo form.
These compositions are wonderful as well as the cover art by Carlos Kazyak-Albaladejo. Also, I have to give a shout out to Dallas Palumbo who mixed the EP. These pieces are leading up to a new album promised for early 2021. Stream "To Return is But a Dream" everywhere music is played.