Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crystal Band - Shui Jing Yue Fang


Many viewers of the Lao Lai Qiao Gaga video have commented on the beautiful group of women playing transparent traditional Chinese instruments. Some viewers have suggested that the performers are the internationally famous Twelve Girls Band - despite the fact that only ten young women can be seen holding the instruments. The group is, in fact, the highly original Crystal Band - in Chinese, Shui Jing Yue Fang - and the instruments they are playing are not made out of glass or plastic, but genuine crystal - and they are the only such instruments in China.

Crystal Band are from Beijing and were formed in 2008, expanding from six to ten performers as their popularity has grown. They now have a collection of crystal instruments that includes a mix of Western and Chinese instruments - including several ancient erhu and pipa, violins and a cello, a Chinese gu zheng zither, a keytar (which can be seen in this performance in the background), and even a couple of crystalline electric guitars. In keeping with their extraordinary array of instruments, the music they play strikes a balance between various styles; Chinese classical, Western classical, folk from various traditions including Irish, and the odd smattering of guitar-driven rock. Their music is fascinating listening, they have many tracks on youtube that have received far too few views, and they probably deserve an international following.

The official website for the band (in Chinese) is at shuijingyuefang.net and the band's organiser is Huang Zijiao.

4 comments:

  1. I'd love to learn more about this group... I did find a few of their YouTube videos, but of course can't understand a thing. Would really enjoy hearing some of their more contemporary stuff.

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  2. I love their Lady Gaga cover with the old folks choir. It shows just how brilliant things can become when East and West collide. The mix of traditional Chinese instruments playing Lady Gaga's modern soundtrack combined with the sheer enthusiasm of a bunch of geratrics singing in a language that is indecipherable to my ears is so bizarre yet so compelling that I have watched it several times.

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