A “Folk” Fusion Sound and New Age Vocal Timbre

Illustrations: New Age and Bocellic Angelism
(1) Dadawa (Yangjinma album), 1997:
(2) Charlotte Church, Panis Angelicus
(3) Enya, “Angeles”, ca. 1990

NEW AGE music surfaced in China almost independently (arguably in 1992), was “global” even before it was domestically popular (1995, Sister Drum); and, more remarkably still, issued forth from the desk of an academic but NOT foreign-trained composer, now (since 1998) at the Shanghai Conservatory, He Xuntian. A name still little known within China, not at all in the US, but moreso in West Europe. An oddball, certainly not amongst the ranks of the self-exporting entrepreneurials like Tan Dun or Qu Xiaosong who have played offshore vs onshore audiences, John Cage’s silence against Zen nullity, almost against each other, mutually mysterious; most amazingly of all, has not sought the accolades of NW European miniature avant-gardism, nor admission into the masonic brotherhood of the 12-tone scale. Of course it demanded a parade of so-labelled vocalists too: the best known of whom are – and perhaps still remain – Dadawa and Qi Yu (“Olive Tree”) .


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