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Sound of the Xity showcases China

By Mu Qian (China Daily)

16:00, March 29, 2013

Hanggai, a Chinese folk group known for blending Mongolian folk music and rock, will perform at the upcoming Sound of the Xity festival. (China Daily)

As international agents and festival organizers meet in Beijing for a showcase festival, many Chinese bands unknown outside of the country will make their sounds heard around the world.

Sound of the Xity - the China Music Conference and Showcase Festival will be held in Beijing from April 3 to 7, with performances by more than 60 bands and two days of conferences on the music industry.

Participants will include Jason Mayall from Japan's Fuji Rock Festival, Annette Tripodi from WOMAD (World of Music, Arts & Dance), and Christoph Borkowsky from WOMEX (the World Music Expo).

"We expect that Chinese bands will get opportunities for overseas tours through Sound of the Xity, and international bookers will get to know more about the Chinese music scene," says Zhang Ran, CEO of SX Music, the festival presenter.

Sound of the Xity was inaugurated last year, when 56 pop, rock and world music acts performed in Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an.

Jung Hun-lee, artistic director of Korea's Ulsan World Music Festival, selected two Chinese bands, Whai and Pet Conspiracy, to perform in Ulsan after seeing them in Beijing.

"Whai is a rock band with Chinese aesthetics, while Pet Conspiracy combines Chinese and Western music styles and is of international caliber," says Lee, who is also coming to this year's festival.

Performances of Sound of the Xity 2013 will take place at six live-music venues in Beijing. Yugong Yishan, one of the capital's most popular clubs, will feature more-established bands such as Long Shen Dao, Re-Tros- and Shanren.

Mao Live will present the noisier young acts such as Poshang Village, while School, Jianghu Bar and Blue Stream Bar will present the project "Youth Live", which features mostly bands formed by college students, like Easy Mind and Dream Garden.

The Temple Bar will showcase China's world music acts, including Tibetan group Nima and ethnic Mongolian band Yin and Siqin.

Apart from the shows, Chinese and international delegates will exchange ideas at a forum titled "Hidden Assumptions in the Music Industry".

"The Chinese music industry has not been really integrated into the international music industry, and sometimes the differences in concepts and ideas create barriers for Chinese music to go overseas," Zhang says.

"That's why we want to organize this forum so that both sides will learn more about each other. We will seek out and expose the tacit taboos and mixed messages that confound the interactions of the Chinese and Western music industries."

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