Wild Children

Wild Children
Folk-music duo
Hailing from the western city of Lanzhou, Wild Children is the project of singer/songwriter/guitar duo Zhang Quan (b. 1968) and Xiao Suo (b. 1970). Zhang Quan describes his family background as ‘part worker, part peasant and part hobo’. He left home at the age of fourteen to live in different parts of southwest and northeast China.
Quan and Suo joined forces in 1994 to develop their own guitar tunings and vocal harmonization, gravitating towards the pentatonic scales of the traditional Chinese zither (see qin) and the dissonant harmonies of Buddhist incantation (see Buddhist music). Their music is informed by almost twenty years of living and working in peasant communities, where singing and music were prominent and the Chinese folk music tradition could be heard at its source. Having engaged this essentially Maoist project of ‘going down to the countryside’ to learn from the people (see xiafang, xiaxiang), Wild Children’s proletarian credentials were firmly in place when they arrived in the nation’s capital in 1999. After an initial year of playing around Beijing and establishing a presence on the local music scene, Quan and Suo purchased a tiny bar on Beijing’s South Sanlitun Street and in no time were spinning delicate webs of down-home groove from the tiny stage of the River Bar. In 2003 Wild Children became a five-piece collective that shrinks and grows as the raucous late-night jam sessions dictate.
See also: Yang Yi

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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