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Charlie Cawood
Songlines, December 2019

Celebrating the rich traditions of north-western China

Almost exclusively a capella, and largely for solo voice, many of the songs are pastoral in nature, evoking mountains and wild grasslands, and the deep connection with nature that arises from an agricultural lifestyle. Some serve as epic ancestral narratives, steeped in history and legend. Also present are hua’er love songs, wedding songs, as well as ruminations on old age and the passage of time. For the most part, the songs are melodically pentatonic and the narrative is conveyed through soaring melismas and stunning falsetto flips. The liner notes provide ample historical and anthropological context, as well as complete lyrics. © 2019 Songlines

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