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  Vienna Teng
Vienna Teng From an outside perspective, 24 year old singer, songwriter and pianist Vienna Teng fits comfortably into the Asian-American stereotype. She began taking piano lessons at age 5, studying classical composers like Bach and Chopin. A straight-A student in high school, she had her choice of Ivy League colleges before eventually deciding on Stanford University. After a two-year stint on the pre-med track, she switched her major to Computer Science. By all appearances, her existence is that of the quintessential brainy Asian-American girl.

But there's another story below the surface. Far from being pressured into studying music, Vienna asked for piano lessons on her own. While she delved fully into classical works, she was drawn more to the act of improvisation, and in expressing the ideas that were emerging in her own imagination. She wrote her first song at age 6, and had an album's worth of instrumentals composed by age 16. As if the challenges of collegiate life weren't enough, she released a 4-song EP at Stanford and finished recording the tracks for her first full-length album before she graduated. A classic overachiever, perhaps, but Vienna can hardly be relegated to any mere stereotype.

As with her life, Vienna Teng's music defies any attempt at simplistic classification. Her full-length debut, Waking Hour, reveals a unique intensity in her melodies, brilliant turns of phrase in her lyrics, and a natural instinct for song craftsmanship that is difficult to comprehend given her young age. Her compositions range from simple piano ballads featuring pristine vocals to multi-layered productions with lush landscapes. Waking Hour features explorations into not just pop, folk and rock, but also new age and world beat stylings, reflecting Vienna's admission to being something of a "music geek." The album takes listeners on a ride through the haunting, the ethereal, and the comforting. Most of all, her songs reveal a keen understanding of the magic that lies beneath the surface of the everyday world and how to share that hidden beauty with others through music.

As a result of her captivating live performances, Vienna has earned increasing recognition from the press and a dedicated fan base throughout the Bay Area. Strong sales of Waking Hour at gigs and online, where the album achieved best-seller status at CD Baby, combined with remarkable word of mouth and critical acclaim, helped attract the interest of independent label Virt Records, which signed Vienna in May of 2002. Vienna recently returned to the studio, this time with highly regarded producer David Henry (Cowboy Junkies, REM, Josh Rouse, Yo La Tengo), as Virt looks to further expand her audience with its plans to release a new version of Waking Hour, featuring new arrangements and remixes of selected tracks and new artwork. Guest musicians include Will Kimbrough (Kim Richey) and Craig Wright (Steve Earle).

   
 
Warm Strangers
CD $13.99 catalog# vtcd-1001

Homecoming (Walter's Song) (mp3)
Harbor (mp3)
Waking Hour
CD $14.99 catalog# virt1003
Waking Hour
The Tower
Gravity
 
 
     

 

 


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