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Tuning into tradition

Updated: 2022-11-30 08:16 ( China Daily )
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Guzhengplayers perform in the Crazy Folk video series.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"We climbed up the Great Wall with our instruments and waited for the sunset to shoot the video, which was very romantic," says the pipa player, who performed the song with other musicians on instruments such as erhu and guzheng. "We repeated the performance over 10 times and it was dark when we finished shooting. It was exhausting but exciting."

"For many people, the repertories for traditional music are limited," says one Crazy Folk participant who goes by the name Nanxiao Yizhu on social media and plays the xiao, a type of vertical flute. "Only a few pieces can be recognized, such as 100 Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix and Ambush From All Sides. Traditional musical instruments are also considered to be old and out-of-date."

The type of xiao he plays is called nanxiao, which is popular in southern cities. Born into a musical family, which has a long history of playing and making nanxiao, he learned to play the instrument and the dizi as a child. He didn't take on a career as a full-time musician until 2020.

"Visually, the videos are enjoyable to watch. The music is fresh and intriguing for the audience, who might not be familiar with traditional music," he says.

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