|David Gunn & Victor Gama||Folk songs for the Five Points|
|Helen Sung||Sungbird (after Albéniz)|
|Huong Thanh & Nguyê:n Lê||Fragile Beauty|
|Yu Hsi (author) / Guan Xia (composer) / Jenny Lin (piano)||The Mighty Music Dancing in the Wind; piano suite of "Prabhutaratna"|
Interview and Gig:
Cibo Matto / 27 March 97 / Baltimore
Left: Yuka Honda Right: Miho Hatori
(thanks to Linda Wong for scanning the pic)
Examples of more interviews in my collection requiring transcription and editing:
Johnny Mori, taiko drummer with Hiroshima ('86)
Q: So with this most recent record, "Another Place"...you're saying the cuts have some of the same intent and feel of the first album?
A: Umm...yes and no. The intent, I think is very strong. It's a little bit more of a formatted program, in terms of being commercial, making it viable. But it has our sound... Basically, it reflects the softness and sensitivity of the koto and, on the other hand, the power of the taiko. So there's a heavy contrast. To make music or [stir] people's feelings, you gotta have both. Hopefully, we try to maintain that. So it still has that sound of what we consider to be the "Hiroshima" sound. We feel pretty comfortable with that particular direction. 'Cause we know it works. And the record company knows NOW, after four albums, that it works.
Sean Williams, ethnomusicologist, on Indonesian and Sundanese pop ('89)
Q: So what distinguishes popular Sundanese music from all the rest [in Indonesia]? Does it try to...
A: ... sound Sundanese. In addition to using Sundanese instruments, it makes every effort to be as Sundanese as possible... not just pop music that has a Sundanese flavor, but Sundanese music that has a popular flavor.
Q: Aside from what you're describing, I assume that there are various kinds there. Do you find in Sunda popular music that is definitely a Western derivative?
A: There are two kinds of popular Sundanese music. One is the old style, which nearly is 100% Western. It sounds just like our pop music of the 60s and 70s... and not rock music, but the real pop stuff. It uses the old- style Wurlitzer organ, electric guitars, drum set... The only difference is that it's sung in Sundanese. And if you hear and example of the older style... if you didn't know what language it was in, you would assume it was American pop of the 60s or 70s.
Q: So what prompted the newer style of Sundanese popular music?
A: I think it was primarily the efforts of a composer named Nano S. He was determined to keep the Sundanese young people from veering 100% towards Western pop, because he was concerned about the loss of interest in Sundanese traditional music. So he tried to make Sundanese music acceptable to Sundanese young people. ...he was extremely successful in doing this. Now, his compositions are the hottest thing in Sunda. What he did, basically, was to take traditional Sundanese ensembles, particularly a gamelan ensemble, which is.. well, it's all over Southeast Asia, actually. It involves metal xylophones and gongs and overturned kettle gongs. He made that very exciting and very appealing to young people by adding certain musical elements.
Huang, Jen-chun ("Victoria"), grad student on Taiwanese pop ('97)
Q: I picked up a cassette by the L.A. Boyz a couple years ago, because I'd read about them. I just wanted to take a chance, see what they were like. I though they were... okay for little kids.
A: Yeah, Definitely! The first time they came to Taiwan, the young girls were so crazy about those three guys. They were very different from Taiwanese boys. There were "good-looking." (I don't think so!) And they have good bodies. That's very different from people in Taiwan.
Q: I wouldn't think that growing up in the States versus growing up in Taiwan would make as much difference nowadays. I would think the diet would be equivalent.
A: People on the West Coast pay attention to their body, right? They go to the gym and get in shape. You know, that was very different from Taiwan. People there, saw them and said, "Wow! Something new, here!" They brought the trend from America.
... You know, they only spoke Taiwanese the first time they came. They even didn't understand Mandarin.
Q: Are they still popular?
A: Not as much as before. The latest star is a girl named Coco. She's also from L.A. She has a voice a little like Ah-Mei. She has an American style of singing. She's also good looking. (Good body.)... And she, like other ABC's... they only go back to Taiwan in the summertime and wintertime, because they're students. They can only promote their albums in the summer and during the winter break. So during those times, all their fans go crazy.
John Tran and Bob Herco of Home Grown | Sugar Yoshinaga of Buffalo Daughter | Versus | Kenny Endo | Magdalen Hsu-Li | Jamorn Supapol | Kevin So | Albert Kuvezin of Yat-Kha | Emm Gryner | Penn Masala | Francis Wong | Lee Pui Ming | Fon-Lin Nyeu when she was with the Hissyfits | Jenny Choi | Kim | Kabochack | The Wontons
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