Saturday, February 12, 2005

Streets of lhasa - Erhu and some .....

This just released from Zhang Jian an old friend and laptop experimenter in Beijing - this post actually relates back to my previous offering on Canto/Mando Pop - as before his shift from synths to laptops, he played on a large amount of the Mandopop output of the 90's (i.e. Wong Faye, Dou Wei etc...) -these recordings were taken whilst he travelled through Tibet in 2003 - on an MD - the first time I heard these was sitting behind the Deli Lama (on Lamma Island, Hong Kong, through poxy-pub-speakers, from the raw MD after he had recently returned from his trip. Presented this to a bunch of drunk/stoned gweilos (white-devils to you and me) - in zero-english, having first turned off the pounding-techno-crap - from electro to folk - and not a complaint in the house !!

An uber-cool cool guy and an excellent field-recording - as the press release states - Highly recommended.

Streets of lhasa

Latest in the Sun City Girls' acclaimed, inspiring Sublime Frequencies series. Streets of lhasa lifts us to the high plateau of tibet where anonymous street balladeers sell folk songs for a living and ghostly voices drift in an ambience of time forgotten. Children, birds, trains, prayers and a traditional temple activity called 'bian jing' (where monks discourse about scripture and punctuate their points by clapping loudly) provide the backdrop for this disc with the folk music of the street taking center stage. These enterprising musicians sing passionate songs and play instruments like the 'erhu' and the 'san xian'. The recordings are as clear as the strings of these banjo and violin-like instruments scathed by leather fingers of the high, thin air. Tibet has been under chinese control for nearly half a century and their leader, the dalai lama, resides in exile to the south in dharamsala india. Buddhism remains of primary importance here and chants of song and prayer are heard throughout the plateau. this ornamental carnival of sound was recorded by zhang jian (of the beijing-based sound collective 'fm3') on the streets of lhasa, zhada and shigatse in august 2003. Liner notes written by `On The Wire' presenter and all-round don steve barker. Highly recommended.


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