According to composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist Eyvind Kang, the idea for Narrow Garden had haunted him since the middle of the 1990s. This wide-ranging musical statement on the various notions of love (and in particular, courtly love] involve poetry, "ashugh" singing -- a pan-Eastern folk tradition that emerged from the cultural roots of Near-Eastern and Caucasus mountain nations -- lyric poetry, and modes of composition ranging from Middle Eastern, Indian, Far Eastern, and Western European classical and folk musics. Kang's own developmental sonic architectures are at once identifiable.
Eyvind Kang is not the type to repeat himself. To come to grips with the music of the prolific American composer, arranger, and violinist, you would need to sift through upwards of 50 albums, each with its own secret but palpable internal guidelines. (Lots of them have to do with "NADE," a Sanskrit word with a number of obscure connotations that has a mysterious significance for Kang.) And you would have to range far beyond the composer's own works, through those of Laurie Anderson, Sunn O))), Mike Patton, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and many other hard-to-classify artists.
It was in the dark, cavernous drones of Sunn 0))) and Boris that I first discovered Eyvind Kang. On the much-desired Japanese edition of the Sunn 0)))/Boris collaboration Altar, Kang performed on the bonus track “The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep)”, which created an entirely different mood than most of the other tracks on the album did. The track’s ambiance was deeply contemplative, and largely free of the subwoofer-testing bass that so dominates drone music.