September 19, 2019
Beverly Arts Center
1309, 2407 W. 111th St.
Friday September 20, 2019
Ping Tom Memorial Park
300 W. 19th St.
Music traditions from the grassroots of China?? Yes! Chicago’s World Music Festival brings us this and more. Here, meet China’s Yandong Grand Singers in this discussion between Picture this Post (PTP) and their spokesperson Mu Qian (MQ)-
(PTP) Is this the first time you are performing in Chicago? Do you have any particular plans of what you will do in Chicago when you are not performing?
(MQ) Yes, actually Chicago will be the first US city ever for most of us, so anything will be new and exciting. We’d like to see as much as possible, and hopefully visit some skyscrapers.
Many Chicagoans think of the World Music Festival as a way to see and hear the world without a passport. What would you most like Chicagoans to know and appreciate about your culture and how your music is a part of it?
We represent a unique musical tradition of China, and of the world. The Grand Song that we sing is a kind of polyphonic chorus, in which we imitate many natural sounds, like the chirping of cicadas. We hope the audience will recognize that in our songs.
Please tell our readers about your group.
We have six musicians. Our music is mostly singing, but we will also play the pipa (plucked lute) and niutuiqin (bowed lute).
How did your group come together? What is the background of each of the performers in your group?
Almost everybody in our community joins a choir at some point of his or her life. We come from the same community, and consist of four younger singers and two more senior singers who used to teach other members. We mostly farm and do some small businesses, but singing is an important part of our lives.
Other comments for our readers to let them know about your group, your sound and what you would like them to know about you?We will bring our CDs with us. If you like our music (and we’re sure you will), please also buy our CDs J.
Photos courtesy of YANDONG GRAND SINGERS OF CHINA