Ma Jiuyue, composer and director Led by composer Ma Jiuyue, Sounds of China is a highly polished ensemble from Beijing that blends traditional Chinese music with forward-looking arrangements, mixing the ancient and the modern. While the group incorporates plenty of traditional instruments, Jiuyue’s arrangements recast the ancient melodies into thoroughly contemporary, rock-oriented settings with electric guitar, synthesizers, and a standard drum kit, giving the performances a pop-like energy and sheen. The ensemble features some of China’s greatest musicians from both the classical world and the pop realm. Jiuyue incorporates a wide variety of ideas, mixing in bits of new age, pop, progressive rock, jazz, and cinematic grandeur. This performance is supported in part by touring assistance from Arts Midwest.