Concert with a mission

By Zhang Kun ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-01-17 10:12:16

Concert with a mission

Veteran explorer and conservationist Yang Yong will appear in the video that is part of archaeologist Zhou Lei's experimental concert. Provided to China Daily

An archaeologist has created a performance intended to enlighten as much as entertain. Zhang Kun goes behind the scenes in Shanghai.

More than 28,000 rivers have disappeared in China in the past 50 years, as the country continues to lose more waterways to deserts, pollution and urbanization.

Concert with a mission

Running wild 

Concert with a mission

Up close and personal 

In response to the alarming phenomenon, archaeologist Zhou Lei has decided to address the problem onstage.

He managed to convince the experimental musician Dou Wei to give the debut performance of his latest music creation Tears of Rivers in a small concert in Shanghai on Jan 22.

Zhou, 36, is a founding member of Oriental Danology Institution, an international independent think tank on environmental protection and sustainable development. He researches China's rivers in the context of its history, mythology and social development.

When a person died in the Yi community, an ethnic group mainly living in Southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, villagers used to chant sutras on the side of the river. "They believed the soul of the deceased will go upstream to the origin of the river, and rest in peace in their ancestor's homeland," he says.

Zhou hopes the concert will provide an analogy of the ritual and, through Dou's music, he hopes to convey how the Yi community guides the lost souls. The main aim is to raise awareness about the protection of rivers and natural ecology.

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