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2007 - week 41, from 13 October - The Music of China

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:40 pm
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Gong Chio Xia - Chiang Wei Cu Cu Kai - Rough Guide to the Music of China - China - World Music Network - RGNET 1122 CD

2 - Bei Bei - Songs from Qian - Quiet Your Mind and Listen - China - Standby - 5917C1215

3 - Dadawa - Flown Away - Seven Days - China - Jingwen - 788088 2243

4 - Kin Taii - Nocturnal Light - Rough Guide to the Music of China - China - World Music Network - RGNET 1122 CD

5 - Sa Ding Ding - Holy Incense (Tibet Version) - Alive - China - Universal - 60251732006

6 - Liu Fang - Première Rencontre [featuring Ballaké Sissoko] - Le Son de Soie (Silk Sound) - China/Mali - Accords Croisés - AC 116

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Timed to coincide with the World Service’s focus on China, this week’s programme scratches the surface of the country’s music, about which I am shockingly ignorant. Paul Fisher’s compilation, The Rough Guide to the Music of China, is a wonderful crash course that starts back in the 1930s and comes right up to date. I could have just set it to play and said a few words in the gaps. But I like to make my life harder than that.

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Bei Bei [photo courtesy www.myspace.com/beibei ]

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[photo by Philip Ryalls]

Two of our six tracks feature sophisticated instruments unique to China played by young women based in North America, the gu zheng (zither-ish) by Bei Bei, and the pipa (lute-like) by Liu Fang, who now live in USA and Canada, respectively.

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Kin Taii

The other four are all East-West hybrids, starting with Gong Chio Xia, whose song from the 1930s sounds like something the Andrews Sisters might have done. Demonstrating the range of music to be found on The Rough Guide to China, Kin Taii is based in Japan where his combination of ancient and modern results in a sound reminiscent of Makoto Kubata’s Blue Asia.

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Dadawa

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Dadawa and Sa Ding Ding are young Chinese women who controversially but very effectively frame Tibetan texts and melodies with modern production.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:55 pm
by Chris P
The Silk String Quartet had some great ensemble playing at Womad this year, the pipa player was outstanding to my ears. I also think they have a recent Cd out on Arc label which is probably worth checking out.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:27 pm
by Ian M
If you want to see the instruments in question being played, there is some music of delicate and astonishing beauty at Liu Fang's site here:

http://www.myspace.com/liufang

and at Bei Bei's site:

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... D=61238795

I do love hearing these instruments in their unadorned state and watching them being played just adds to the pleasure.

What brought the pipa to my attention was a track, I See Who You Are, on Bjork's Volta, where Min Xiao-Fen adds some pipa to the electronics, which works very well indeed.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:08 pm
by Des
Can't wait to hear this show.

emails

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:14 pm
by Charlie
emails from:

1. D R Sumra

Where can I buy some of the CDs from today's programme (13/09/07)? Don't seem to be stocked in the usual places in the UK.

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reply from CG

Liu Fang's album is through Harmonia Mundi in the UK

Sa Ding Ding is through Wrasse/Universal in the UK

World Music Network goes through New Note/Pinnacle in the UK

All of the above should be obtainable through Amazon.co.uk

Bei Bei is at www.mayspace.com/beibei

The Dadawa album could be tricky, I don't know the answer

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2. LISE FIRTH, PERTH, SCOTLAND

Hello!

Thank you for your wonderful programme. Please, where can I find Da Da Wa's Seven Days album?

Thank you

Lise

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3. Suzanne Velte, Fort Worth, TX, USA

I heard you for the first time Sat, Oct 13. I had to work late and for the entire show I was uninterrupted. I thought my co-workers might object except those from Asia! I will listen again and again.

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4. Dear Charlie,

I'm now tuning in to the latest programme on 17760kHz of my shortwave radio with a good reception. Great to hear my name - Chun-Quan Meng - being mentioned in the programme.

I turned on my radio at 0745utc when the programme's aired for nearly 15 minutes. I'll enjoy the whole programme online in the near future.

Another BBC's "China Season"'s come! Wonderfully, Chinese music's highlighted in your programme. I enjoy them very much.

I'm very much looking forward to tuning in to the next World of Music.

Thank you.

Chun-Quan Meng
People's Republic of China

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5. Cristina Bridgeton, United States

I really enjoyed the music selections from China on last week's program.

I often find myself turning the radio off after hearing a snippet of the songs for the show's lineup, but this time, I listened all the way through.

It was most enjoyable. Just one question-when are we going to hear anything from Japan or Korea?

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6. Colette, Cyprus

Dear Charlie,

I loved your programme on China, I have so many old tapes given me years ago by a Chinese friend that I used to play endlessly as I love their traditional instruments. I was also delighted to see (won't say fans...it's such an immature word) friends of your programme jump to your defence when that person on Over to You complained about too much music on the WS.

Your musical fare is such a delight compared to some of the dunga-dunga drivel we get on the many stations available to us up and down the dial. It is...to use a cliche, an oasis in a desert of (mainly) bad news and bad music. Long may you rule the airwaves.

best,
Colette

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:00 pm
by Des
Great show. I've fallen hopelessly in love with Sa Ding Ding but correct me if I'm wrong the CD hasn't currently got a British release?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:27 am
by Charlie
Des wrote: Sa Ding Ding... correct me if I'm wrong the CD hasn't currently got a British release?

As mentioned in the previous post, Des, the album does indeed have a UK release through Wrasse

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:08 pm
by Ian A.
Charlie wrote:As mentioned in the previous post, Des, the album does indeed have a UK release through Wrasse


It supposedly had a release date of 8th October but there may have been a slight delay - Wrasse told us there had been a little hold up on stocks and Amazon currently show it as "available in 5-10 days". Robin Denselow gave it a thumbs up in the Guardian on Friday, and when the new fRoots finds its way to subscribers through the post strike delays you'll find an interview with her by David Hutcheon.

Re: 2007 - week 41, from 13 October - The Music of China

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:47 pm
by Martin_Edney
Charlie wrote:...focus on China, this week’s programme scratches the surface of the country’s music, about which I am shockingly ignorant


The only person I've ever heard playing contemporary Chinese music on the radio with any regularity is Steve Barker on BBC Radio Lancashire's On The Wire. If I remember correctly, Steve is currently working in China for the British Council. He doesn't make a programme every week (about one week in four - with the other weeks being equally interesting programmes made by others). There's a good archive of On The Wire available at http://otwradio.blogspot.com/

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:54 pm
by Chris P
There's an item on, and, I think, an interview with Sa Ding Ding on "the Beat" on Beeb World Service tomorrow - from memory I think it (the Beat) is broadcast at at least 3 different times of day during Thursdays, and is probably available on the replayer afterwards

Dadawa

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:20 am
by jobo
Hi Charlie

Loved the programme on China (and the recent one on Mali - truly excellent). The show works best for me when there's a theme.

For info, there are 4 Dadawa tracks from the recent album for download (seem to legit with publisher's permission) at
http://www.explorasian.org/dadawa_music.html

Regards

Jeff, listening from France and Belgium