Echoes of China

Updated: 2013-09-26 00:32

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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He has put the yangko tunes into the song, As Bright As the Sun, the last song on their record, which he says has received warm feedback from audiences.

"Those sounds might be ignored because they are too commonly heard in China. But once you hear it in a different production by using the rhythms, you know it's there. It's natural," he says.

Jin Peng, 26, a traditional Chinese wind instrument player and a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music, joined Liang a year ago when he was going to give up his major upon graduation.

"Chinese folk music is not popular so I couldn't make a living," says Jin, who started learning flute at 8. He fell in love with the instrument because of a popular TV program The Legend of White Snake, which has many flute-playing scenes.

When Liang shared his music idea, Jin says that he felt his passion rekindled.

"It's not only rock 'n' roll that makes people high. Folk music also rocks," Jin says.

Bassist Su Wei met Liang 10 years ago at the Sanlitun bar street of Beijing when they played in other bands. He too was eager to find a new music form that didn't imitate the West.

Liang wrote the 15 songs in their debut album, reflecting his observations about the places he traveled and people he met.

One of the songs, Prelude to the Dance of Yao Ethnic Group, was inspired by his trip to Yunnan province when he watched people singing and dancing. The band used flute, guitar and percussion to capture the spirit of their dances.

The instrumental song Rhythm of Life portrays Chinese farmers working in the field, a scene Liang saw when he was a child in his hometown.

"The process of making our music is like witnessing our musical rebirth. The more we research, the more we want to create," says Liang.

All of the members besides Liang have other jobs to make a living. But Liang is glad to see that they come together as a band and share the same musical idea.

"The night when we went into the crowd and played our music, everybody got caught up with our rhythms. They might not be familiar with the lyrics but they can wave with the rhythms, which have a natural resonance to them," he says.

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