Classical/Jazz/Smooth

Vienna Teng

When: Sat., July 20 2013

VIENNA TENG Incorporating indie-folk, classical piano and a cappella singing, Vienna Teng specializes in sophisticated, if slightly twee, songcraft. Born to Taiwanese immigrants, Teng is a computer science grad who ditched a programming career for music. After carving a market niche with articulate chamber pop that marries Rufus Wainwright theatrics to ’90s Lilith Fair atmospherics, the pianist-composer made another abrupt turn into grad school, taking a four-year break to study sustainability. To some, this busy précis might pigeonhole Teng as an overachieving Asian-American, but, laced with introspection and self-deprecating humor, Teng’s lyrical concerns cannot be contained by ethnic stereotypes. The witty exception that proves Teng’s all-inclusive rule is “Grandmother Song,” a lecture on the folly of a music career, courtesy of Teng’s disapproving, Mandarin-speaking grandmother. In recent years, Teng has shaken off an over-reliance on inspirations like Tori Amos, turning toward bolder, more accessible songs. The move has energized her. Perhaps the break to study sustainability has helped sustain Teng’s career.

Pat Moran


Reviews

Showing 1-1 of 1

Current Rating
4.7 out of 5
 

Add a review

Rating

Select a star to rate.