Tellus #19: New Music China (1988)
- Ji Gong - Sings hit TV theme of itinerant Buddhist monk (2:29)
With refrain chant "Nan Wu A Mi Tou Fo" to the Amithaba Buddha. The lead-in lyrics: "My hat, clothes and fan are tattered. You laugh at me and I laugh at you." Shanghai Record Co
- Wang Li - Solos on zheng 21-string zither in "Welcoming Spring" (3:34)
An example of traditional instrument with western accompaniment. China Record Co.
- Zhang Xing - The Green Plains (1:52)
Chinese rock by the now-banned Shanghai pop singer. China Record Co.
- Tiao Ba, Tiao Ba - Dance, Dance (1:36)
Popular electronic dance music from Shanghai
- Zui Jiu - Drunken Wine (1:32)
""Crosstalk" comedy which illustrates the musical tonality of national Mandarin Chinese. China Record Co.
- Hao Yuchi - A Hundred Birds Calling (4:30)
Performed on souna horn with ensemble. It was originally a folk instrument played outdoors at funeral, marriages and other processions. Recently it has been elevated to a solo virtuoso status as "people's" music. The basic melody and structure of this selection is notated in an elemental number system with improvisation of the bird sounds. Bai Li Record Co.
- Electronic Dirge (funeral music from Taiwan) (0:53)
Souna horn and percussion in a procession on a truck through Taipei traffic. Recorded by R.I.P. Hayman
- Xian Percussion Ensemble - Quarreling Ducks (1:42)
A new work as a revival of traditional percussion music from Xian, the ancient capital in northwest China. Recorded by R.I.P. Hayman.
- Miao Love Chant (1:04)
The Miao people of southwest China have a tradition of young people in their late teens singing in the spring festival. The boys and girls line up and sing romantic phrases which are returned by the girls. The girls will choose boys by their vocal quality and improvising abilities. The couples pair off to retire to the woods. If all goes well, they return to announce their marriages. Recorded by Zeng Xiao Jun and Nancy Berliner.
- Liu Dehal - Performs pipe solo "Heroes Cross the Dadu River" (4:19)
The pipa is a four-string lute which came to China from Persia over 1,000 years ago. Here it is featured in the Long March of the People's Liberation Army in the 1930s. Pacific Audio Video Co.
- Gong Yi - Antique Air (5:00)
This work features the guqin, the ancient 7-string zither favored by the Taoist and Confucian literati. Its soft fluid sound is the essence of traditional mysticism. The guqin was banned as reactionary during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. It is now enjoying a revival based on its unique musical qualities and special position in Chinese culture. Shanghai Book Traders Recording.
- Fred Houn - "I Wor Kuen" or "The Boxers" (3:12)
From the record "Bamboo That Snaps Back." Fred Houn is Chinese-American, and the leader of the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble. His recent opera, "Chinaman's Chance," dramatized the epic struggle of the Chinese in America.
- Chen Yi - "Xie Zi" for traditional ensemble (5:15)
Chen Yi was born in Guangzhou (Canton) and her many works have been widely performed in Asia and Europe.
- Ge Gan Ru - "Yi Feng" ("Ancient Wind") for solo cello (excerpt) (3:21)
Ge Gan Ru is a composer of dynamic eclecticism, Micas works have been perform by the Erick Hawkins Dance Co. and Spectrum Musicae. Wang Su, cello.
- Zhou Long - "Kong Gu Liu Shui" ("Valley Stream") for traditional ensemble (8:19)
Zhou Long is originally from Beijing and a graduate of the Central Conservatory. This work won a prize in the National Composition Competition of China in 1984.
- Wu Wen Guang - "Liu Shui" ("Flowing Water") for guqin (3:30)
Master of the ancient 7-string zither, Wu Wen Guang performs traditional scores with a bravura that transforms the most ancient Chinese music into striking new performances.
- Tan Dun - Plucking Instruments Suite (excerpt) (3:34)
Tan Dun is a graduate of the Central Conservatory and is now active in New York. He is now working on an opera, "Nine Songs."
- R.I.P. Hayman - Nightsongs (1:26)
Excerpt from score for the award-winning film about immigrant life in Chinatown. Hayman is a composer, Sinologist and editor of Ear magazine.
- Jing Jing Luo - Monologue Part 1 (excerpt) (2:51)
Commissioned by Kai Takei Moving Earth Dance Co. Takakii Masuko percussion; Marni Rice, Jing Jing Luo, voices. Her works range from dramatic orchestral to traditional Chinese to this textural soundscape.
TELLUS 596 Broadway (602), New York. NY 10012.212-431-1130.
Publishers/Editors Claudia Gould, Joseph Nechvatal, Carol Parkinson
Assistant Editor: Debbie McBride
Copyright 1988. All rights revert to the individual artists.
Cover: Zhang Wei
Calligraphy: Huang Pao Lian
Thanks to Mr. Glen Steinman, Monarch Import Co.
Contributing Editor: R.I.P. Hayman
Dolby B/EQ Normal
This project is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts.
Engineered by Alex Gardner at Studio PASS, NYC.
Ear magazine, 325 Spring St. Rm 208, New York, NY 10013. $20.00/year - 12 issues, $40.00 foreign.
Edited for UbuWeb by Steve McLaughlin
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