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Music producer Chen Weilun takes delight in mixing genres

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-25 08:20

Music producer Chen Weilun takes delight in mixing genres

Chen Weilun launches the project China Music House, in which performers of traditonal Chinese operas and folk music share the stage with artists of contemporary music genres. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"This project helps to link old and new materials in performances," says Shi, an actor of the Jiangsu Kunqu Opera Troupe.

The second album Chen made for the project was mixing pingtan, an old art of storytelling and ballad singing in the Suzhou dialect, with jazz beats. Chen invited Gao Bowen, a well-known Shanghai pingtan artist, to sing with a DJ, guitarist and percussionist.

So far, five albums have been released under the project and another five will come out next year, including a jam session with the oudist and composer from Beirut, Hadi Eldebek, his brother percussionist Mohamad Eldebek, Chinese musicians, hang (percussion instrument) player Shi Lei and Liu Xiaogang, player of the bamboo flute and xiao (a vertical end-blown flute).

For Chen, who was born in Zhangjiakou, in North China's Hebei province, the feeling of music has always been with him since he got a harmonica, his first instrument.

As Chen recalls, his father bought it when he was 5 and he could quickly play a simple song on it. Learning the trumpet at the age of 10, he had his first concert in high school with his rock band.

"I feel a kind of responsibility in offering old Chinese performing arts a platform in the modern world," he says of the project.

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