The Winged Horses of Heaven




Is a collaboration between Orchid Ensemble and media artists Aleksandra Dulic and Kenneth Newby. The work grew out of Orchid Ensemble's CD publication Road To Kashgar: The Winged Horses of Heaven is one of the songs on the CD.


In 138 BC, the emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty sent his general Zhang Qian to contact a western tribe to solicit help to fight invaders from the north. After 13 years of arduous journeys, adventures and misadventures, Zhang Qian returned with news of a stronger and faster breed of horse to help in the wars. Thought to be of celestial origin, these now extinct horses were the compelling motivation behind the opening of a permanent route to the west of China and beyond. This work was commissioned by the Orch;id Ensemble through the Commissioning of Canadian Compositions program of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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