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Pioneering music

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-03-14 07:45
Hanggai, a Chinese rock band made up of ethnic Mongolian musicians, gives a live preview show of their new album, Big Band Brass, in Beijing on March 7. [PHOTO BY WANG JING/CHINA DAILY]

One of China's top bands is releasing a new studio album combining Mongolian folk tunes with brass instruments and rock 'n' roll, Chen Nan reports.

Hanggai, a rock band from China made up of ethnic Mongolian musicians, has released its sixth studio album titled Big Band Brass.

The new album brings 12 songs, inspired by Mongolian folk tunes, including The Dinjid Bay and The Achnatherum Splendens in the North-all popular in Ordos in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region-that portray the beauty of landscape there. The album was produced in association with a 13-member American jazz brass band.

As with its previous albums, Hanggai's latest songs contain lyrics in Mongolian. The band is known for combining songs based on Mongolian folk with rock 'n' roll.

Hanggai launched a 12-city national tour to promote the new album on Saturday in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, which will conclude in Beijing on April 6.

The idea of the new album came after Hanggai's collaboration with renowned composer Tan Dun, the first being a concert at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2015. In the past four years, the band has performed with Tan in several other concerts, including one in Shanghai in 2017, during which Hanggai performed along with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Tan.

"It is a dialogue between symphony and rock 'n' roll," Tan writes on his website about the cooperation with Hanggai. "The music contains many different elements, and we're taking folk to the future."

Hanggai plays modern-day rock 'n' roll together with Mongolian folk that has existed for generations, he says.

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