lily85 于2015-03-27发布 l 已有人浏览
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Gong Linna’s Music Pursuit


Gong Linna was a struggling folk singer before her lyric-less song Tan Te, or Perturbed, composed by her German husband, became an Internet sensation. Her powerful voice, wide vocal range and dramatic facial expressions drew rave reviews. She first performed the 4-minute song in Berlin in 2006, but it wasn’t picked up in China until 2009, when it began doing the rounds on the Internet.


Since then the 35-year-old has been busy performing live all over the country,even at rock concerts, which is rare for a folk singer


"I was not surprised to be introduced to Tan Te as{have performed many of my husband's songs. But the song requires continuous breathing and voicing,which is hard, and I had to practice it over and over again. Lacking lyrics, the song’s meaning is the music itself.”


Her husband, whom Gong refers to by his Chinese name Lao Luo, says, "The song was originally accompanied by no instruments but human voices, and I experimented with a band supporting her only later.


A star singer  in  her  hometown,  Guiyang,  capital  of  Guizhou  province,southwest China, she was never shy while performing in front of people. With Guiyang being home to 15 ethnic groups, Gong would often listen to their folk songs and imitate their dances in her childhood. It was that early exposure that helped mould her distinctive voice and style, she says.


The musically versatile young girl enrolled to study folk music at the Chinese Conservatory of Music in Beijing at 16. She held her first solo concert in 1999 and cooperated with the China Central Nationalities Orchestra, China’s most prestigious traditional  music orchestra.  In 2000,  she won the Chinese National Singing Competition as best female singer and became a popular figure at various galas.


Her future looked bright and promising, but as time went by, Gong felt anxious and lost. Although she was pursuing fame like other singers, she did not feel at ease with all the lip-synching and stereotyped performances. She returned home and began to live among the ethnic Miao.


"I observed their simple and happy lives. Elderly women would sing all day long一whether combing their hair, cooking or doing housework," she says. "I was determined to show people that singing should be a happy experience and a way of personal expression, rather than about following rules."


Her struggles ended when Lao Luo and his music entered her life. He has written most of the music for Gong’s six albums so far, He also found her a band,including musicians from around the world. For Gong, who grew up singing with karaoke tapes, singing with a live band was a fresh and challenging experience.


After moving with her husband to Berlin in 2004,Gong regained her confidence as a singer. Calling their music new Chinese art music, the couple insist that the essence of traditional Chinese folk songs needs to be preserved even as it is integrated with new forms. In 2003, Gong gave her first performance abroad in an outdoor music festival in the Netherlands.


Tian Qing, director of Research Institute of Music of the Chinese Academy of Arts, calls Gong’s works  "a breakthrough in the field of traditional Chinese folk music" and "a chance for the public to get to know this music genre".


"Unlike other students who follow the teachers’instruction and obey the books, Gong was a serious student with independent ideas,”says Tian, who knew Gong as a student in the conservatory.  "The popularity of Tan Te is accidental and Gong is definitely more than that." For Gong, the biggest reward is that "finally I can sing with my own voice on stage".


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