xi's moments
Home | People

Chinese village ensemble rocks stages in US with pipa virtuoso

China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-24 15:26

Very different from polished concerts

The band's show would not be so entertaining without a lot of heavy lifting from Wu, whose informative, interesting narrations in English before and after the farmers performances that provided historic and cultural context even little known to native Chinese audience.

Wu, who moved to the US in 1990, has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, composer and a leader of cross-cultural exchanges. She was named Musical America's 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award was bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.

Wu first met the farmer musicians around a decade ago at one of Huayin's fishing and farming villages at the foot of Huashan Mountain and near the Yellow River. At that time she was traveling in China's remote regions to uncover the country's ancient musical traditions that are in danger of being lost.

For more than 300 years, the then called Zhang family Band has toured the countryside, bringing its rugged shadow puppet plays that call to life the mythical heroes and gods of the oral folk culture of Shaanxi, often evoking famous battles of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), to temple fairs and rituals.

"Their music is so raw and real, very different from the polished concerts we typically see in the concert hall," said Wu." I want to share this with audiences across our country and bring awareness to this music that is still being performed today in the remote villages of Northern China."

After her initial visit to the village ensemble, Wu brought them along with several other groups - none of which had been seen in the West - to the stage of the Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2009. The audience loved it so much. Then Wu decided to return to China and make a documentary about her experience (Discovering a Musical Heartland), which inspired her to bring the shadow puppet band back West again.

This time, Wu was excited to see that the Chinese village band has been greeted with more cheers and applause.

"We have so many different cultures on this earth," said Wu. "We learn from each other - and it makes us stronger."


|<< Previous 1 2   
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349