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Local ethnic music

CFRecords (2 posts) • 0

Hi All,

I love music and especially Chinese music. I'll be visiting Yunnan this summer and I'd like any advice on where should I go to hear local people sing local songs like on the album 'Sounds Of The Hills: Music From Yunnan China'

I don't want to go to a big show but just meet locals who love to sing their traditional songs.

Thanks a million!

tigertiger - moderator (5094 posts) • 0

The big shows are pure showbiz/cabaret, with a troupe of professional performers who dress up as any ethnic minority required, and sing accordingly. I hate them. But there are also smaller more 'genuine' shows.

There is a Naxi village about 5km outside Lijiang. There is a Naxi museum and also a group of old men who do nothing but make music and 'smoke'. They are well known and produce CDs as well. But this IS 100% authentic music.
In the adjacent village of Shuhe, there are also local performers who give the daily show.
In Shagrila (forget its real name) there are local restaurants with local diners and local people putting on shows of local music. This is not the usual 'cabaret'.
Just north of Dali is a second lake called XiHu, there are houses built on stilts there. You must pay to go in. They have a visitors centre, and do the usual local performance, but again it is locals doing the local thing.

CFRecords (2 posts) • 0

Thanks alot tigertiger. Very helpful!
Is it OK to video or record them, or must you ask for special permission?

tigertiger - moderator (5094 posts) • 0

I think the usual thing is to ask, and to pay something. I am not sure how much money they will require.
The men in the Naxi village perform on the side of road (no cars in this village), and someone comes around with a tin collecting money.
In the restaurants, I would not expect to pay.
Oh BTW, in Dali XiHu they will drag people a couple of people up on stage to join in. As there are usually only about 10 people in the audience, there is a good chance it will be you.

ricsnapricsnap (192 posts) • 0

Is there anybody who can post links to listen or download Yunnan minority music? I mean the type we hear from women group dancing outside in the evenings. I also tried to find the Dynamic Yunnan music on Baidu music with little success (some songs are there, but all with bad quality). Thanks

yankee00 (1632 posts) • 0

On Douban.fm maybe? There will be tons of videos on Youku too. You can record the music from those.

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

What do you mean by local? Please keep in mind that there are 26 ethinic minorities here in Yunnan. I know you can pick up some LOCAL music depending on where you go. Lisu music is pretty good and you can get some in Liuku, the capital of Nujiang.

Xiefei (535 posts) • 0

The album mentioned in the first post is very good, but was never released through official distribution channels. It may still be available in some shops (try Yuansheng Theater, which originally produced it),but probably not online. I'll look for it.

There's also Kink Gong, who has been recording traditional ethnic music around China and Southeast Asia for years. His SoundCloud page is at soundcloud.com/kinkgong. You can probably contact him through there to purchase his albums.

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

@Xiefei Link above (kinkong) is a treasure trove of ethnic music. Thanks.

fabey (26 posts) • +1

National Geographic Society Explorer Paul Salopek’s "Out of Eden Walk" Yunnan voyage continues.

Three days ago he published a piece about the songs and music of the Bai ethnic minority, titled "This ‘culture of introverts’ prefers to have conversations in song" (8-minute read):


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