Crossing the Musical Rubicon

China Daily profiles eclectic musician Wu Tong and reviews his new album, Sound of My Heart:

It employs a variety of instruments from around the world, including the xun (Chinese ocarina), guqin (Chinese plucked instrument), guitar, cello and Indian tabla (drums). The works include Wu’s compositions, a piece of Northern China’s narrative music, and folk songs from around China.

“What attracts me most about crossover is its tolerance of and respect for various styles and musical thinking. Although people from different areas have different styles, the ultimate thing we want to express is the same,” says Wu, who sings vocals and plays the blown instruments. “Crossover music is the simplest way to tell different peoples that we can live harmoniously together.”


When Wu performed in the United States, he improvised Jimi Hendrix’s songs on his sheng. Although improvisation seems to be something unusual when playing the sheng, Wu says Chinese folk music is full of possibilities.

“Whatever music I play, it’ll always be about being Chinese and expressing life experiences,” Wu says.

Watch Wu Tong perform via YouTube:


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