The Other Side of ChinaThrough the ages, music has been a means for people to express themselves during work, spiritual worship, celebrations and ceremonies.Today, the traditional music and singing styles have survived mostly only in small communities in remote regions. CD release by Andrej Kocan
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In a remote village in Macedonia lives a bagpiper who is still keeping the tradition alive. His spirit is high, although his music is rarely heard these days. He speaks about how it used to be and plays a couple of old local songs.
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“Želim dati glas ljudem, ki so pogosto spregledani, njihov način življenja in življenjski prostor pa potisnjen na rob. Mogoče se s tem vsaj za kratek čas zavemo, da nismo sami tukaj in da s svojimi dejanji uničujemo dragocene kulture, ki nam imajo marsikaj povedati. ”
Več na Zdravo Slovenija
Filmed in China, mostly minorities of Yunnan and their music, with additional improvisation on guqin and Kazakh songs recorded in Shanghai. It is a part of experimental work of exploring traditional musics of the world and trying to bring it to the general audiences in the authentic form, with very little electronic manipulation and making a documentary without the traditional story and commentaries.
As my roommate in the dorm was a student of the guqin I was lucky to learn from him many details about this music, the style, the performance practice and philosophy behind it. This is the instrument of the literati, one of the most potent and influential elite social groups throughout Chinese history. The art of Qin music is one of the four pillars of Chinese culture: philosophy, calligraphy, poetry and Qin music. The musician, Lu Xiaozi, a student of master Dai Xiaolian, recently finished her masters studies and won a first prize in the Chinese Guqin competition. The instrument is from the Tang dinasty and is around 800 years old.
The ending of my one year exchange in China was approaching very fast when I saw a big poster announcing a concert of minority music held at the Conservatory and I decided I should not miss it. The Kazakh group of musicians just blew me away with their performance of their traditional wedding song Kermau Ayday, which is on the CD. Here is a photo taken after the concert with their colorfull costumes and I just had to ask them if they would be willing to record some songs with me in the studio. This was one of the most wonderful days in my life and the musicians, their openness, was amazing. I decided then that my next visit will be to the northwestern province of Xinjiang which is their original home. The video accompanying the song was shot on my last night in Shanghai. I rented a taxi with a friend and we drove around Shanghai in the middle of the night taking in the atmosphere of the city. Next day it was time to go.