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Pop goes the pipa (3)

(China Daily)

15:07, March 22, 2013

"After 20 years, you look back at your roots, at your traditions, and you discover you care about it much more," Wu says.

"By coming to the US, I appreciate China more," Wu says. "I know what the differences are. I have the comparison. I've learned about so many cultures and I know what the unique thing in China is now."

Wu encourages students and professionals to consider the pipa in many forms. Through countless collaborations, she has proven that the traditional instrument is more than capable of breaking out of a box of stuffy musical conventions. For one project, she commissioned the construction of an electric pipa, she recalls.

Wu isn't interested in being cast as merely a flavor in someone else's music; she chooses her collaborations strategically by making sure there is a purpose behind each project, she says.

Wu's next endeavor is the study of traditional Uygur music and folk songs. She became interested in the tradition when she met and worked with a Uygur musician during the recording of her latest album, Borderlines.

In March, Wu plans to travel to the musician's village in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to work with a group of Uygur musicians for her next collaboration.

"Uygur music and culture is kind of mysterious to me," Wu says. "But the pipa comes from the Xinjiang area, so it's like going back home for the pipa."

Ultimately, Wu hopes to bring this group to the Lincoln Center to perform next year. "People say I'm some sort of ambassador of Chinese culture, but I don't know," Wu says. "I have nothing to do with the Chinese government. It's just my passion. I love it. I want to do it."

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Yao Chun)

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