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Jeremy Moyer

Jeremy Moyer (莫傑明): Canadian erhu player; multi-instrumentalist; composer; Orff and Kodály certified music educator and school teacher

. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario Canada.

Jeremy Moyer is a Shanghai based composer and multi-instrumentalist whose work bridges Eastern, Western, Contemporary and Folk traditions. He has studied Cantonese music with Yeung-Yee Lee (李楊義) in New York, Taiwanese folk tunes with Zhang Shi-dong (張仕棟) in Taichung, and Jiangnan Silk and Bamboo Music with Zhou Hao (周皓) in Shanghai. He was previously active in the Canadian folk and world music milieu, recording and performing South American Music (with Huellas), Greek Rembetika Music (with George Sapounidis) and Punjabi Songs (with Galitcha). In Shanghai, he has collaborated extensively with American pianist Steve Sweeting exploring Chinese music in a jazz improvisation framework and he participated in a recording project with Sweeting and vocalist Coco Zhao (趙可). He was also a member of the global fusion collective Soundscape. More recently, Moyer produced music for two tracks on Canadian rapper Jon Corbin’s album, A New Direction. From 2008 to 2010, Moyer was Musician in Residence at the Shanghai-Zhujiajiao Water Village Music Centre. Since 2011, he has worked as a middle school music teacher and primary school classroom teacher at Lycée français de shanghai, a French international school.

Moyer has produced three albums where he arranges the music and mostly plays all the instruments himself:

A Discovery of Chinese Folk Tunes (1997) features the Taiwanese Coconut Shell Fiddle (殼子線). The music is traditional – folk opera tunes, temple music and folk songs - learned by rote from Taichung musician Zhang Shi-dong (張仕棟) on hot summer afternoons in 1996. Zhang was from a generation that spoke Taiwanese dialect and Japanese; and Moyer, at this time, was a just a novice Mandarin speaker so the two could only communicate with music. With the aid of a tape recorder and occasional intervention from bystanders, an inspirational musical bond was formed. A Discovery of Chinese Folk Tunes is dedicated to the memory of Zhang Shi-dong.

Mangoes: Musical Shorts Volume 1 (2009) features Guitar, Erhu (二胡), some vocals and a wide range Chinese and western percussion instruments. There are guest performances by Brazilian percussionist Leonardo Susi and Shanghai-Zhujiajiao singer Yang Guanghau (楊光華). With the exception of one traditional song, the music is all composed by Jeremy Moyer. It is a light-hearted eclectic mix of short acoustic instrumental pieces in a variety of styles. It is a reflection of the diversity of Moyer’s musical inspiration and his joy of music making. Titles such as ‘Fishing Secrets’ and ‘Workers Theme Song’ make allusion to social realities observed in China at the time of the much-anticipated World Expo.

Chinese Bicycle Stories (2018) prominently features the nowadays rarely played ‘Qinqin’ (秦琴): a 3-stringed “Chinese Banjo” which Moyer bought from a barber in Yunnan in 2009. The instrument has been custom fitted with a pentatonic fret set-up imposing a rich world of musical limitations. On this album Moyer also plays Guitar, Erhu (二胡), Gaohu (高胡) Taiwanese Coconut Shell Fiddle (殼子弦), Cantonese Coconut Shell Fiddle (椰胡),Sanxian (三弦) and percussion. There are guest performances by Kevin Ramessar on guitar and Shawn Mativetsky on tabla. The music, all composed by Jeremy Moyer, is a highly personal rendering of folk and traditional musical elements, reflecting a musical life journey of diligent learning, intense spirituality and earthy passion. It is like coasting down a mountain through a bamboo forest on a bicycle in spring while wrestling with demons.