I discovered Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera completely by chance on iTunes. Apple’s music deal at the time was $4.99 classical albums, and the title Ghost Opera jumped out immediately. I’m a sucker for anything paranormal or horror related. I still read some reviews after buying it completely on impulse, and I’m glad I did.
It turns out that Tan Dun composed this music specifically for the Kronos Quartet and Wu Man to perform as part of a performance art peice. It is a 5 movement work that incorporates sounds made by water, stone, metal and paper. It features both Chinese and European instruments, and is inspired by both Bach and traditional Chinese Ghost Operas. Described as unusual and haunting, it is one of the most inventive performances I’ve ever seen.