Beyond Tibet: a Re-Partnering beyond the Himalayas
Mix from He Xuntian album, 2008, Rulai ruqu, Taiwan)
… and I had thought it (“Chinese” world music, hopes for cross-border fusion) had ended with Yangjinma (1996-7), the last child born of the Zhu+He wedlock. The Lady of Bliss – the Guanyin /Amalokitesvara – she who speaks to (all) the Family of Man- was no where to be heard in He’s 2002 Paramita album. “Seven Days” (July 2006) hinted at a next step, a dipping of the finger into Hindic Asia, but ended up with but one healthy progeny, “In the Setting of the Sun…”). So: alas, Zhu Zheqing must now be going it alone, alone, drifting into the abyss of TV glitz. Torch singer, or club entertainer, barroom dancer even.
Happy we be therefore to discover that I’d missed a much more recent album – Taiwan issued – of joint creation: Tathāgata (Sanskrit, oy!), 2009. A difficult bundle to carry inside, it might seem, because its point d’appui is the India (Nepal) folk-religious voice – h rendered yet further obscure by He’s determination (as world music genius) to bring together as cousins all (other) religiosities from Ireland, Rome, Islam, and no doubt other places that sneak by.
Embarrassing the more, that the album held top-chart status in 2009 for quite a few weeks – in Asia, that is.