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Print of Note #6

Subject Citation Contents
Korean clubbing in NYC "Korean clubbing" by Soo-Hyun Chung, Mixer, January/February 1999, Vol.2, No.5, p. 56 -x-
Asian American music "Embracing 'Asian American Music' as an Heuristic Device" by Joseph Lam, Journal of Asian American Studies, February 1999, Vol.2, No.1, pp. 29-60 The author of this essay is a professor of music at the University of Michigan. He asks:
Even though some Asian American musician label their creative works Asian American music, many more reject the term. Why? Does it expose fractures and conflicts in the Asian American struggle for social and political empowerment? What does Asian American music, its presence or absence, tell about American history?
Later, Lam mentions having an article he wrote on Asian American musical activities rejected by a musicology journal that discusses American music and music lives. One reason the editor gave in rejecting the article is that he felt the term Asian American music was too broad and inclusive of many kinds of different musics (in this case, Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian musics performed in the same festival). The editor suggested that Lam submit an essay on Chinese music. This brings up an interesting point about the way that classification or categorization can constrict one's thinking. Lam says,
More than a difference of academic view, the editor's rejection demonstrates not only conventional categories of music but also their power. Unless a music fits such categories, its presence is ignored, and discussions about it, suppressed.That experience exemplifies the problem caused by the lag of conventional music categories to the rapidly changing music realities. At the same time, the editor's invitation confirms conventional notions of what are or are not legitimate research sites of music and their typecasting based upon race and ethnicity.
JieBing Chen "Listen to the ethereal erhu; Chinese composer-musician to share her country's music", by Patricia Beach Smith, Sacramento Bee 20 February 2000 This is a profile of the erhu virtuoso, on the eve of a concert with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.
After playing in Chinese Navy ensembles, she studied the instrument at the Conservatory of Music in Shanghai (city of her birth). Later, she studied Western music theory at SUNY Buffalo, and then moved to the Bay area. There, she had to adapt to improvising with jazz-based musicians. "I started to play with jazz musicians and had to do a lot of improvising, even though we'd rehearsed. The night of a rehearsal, we'd play the same music very differently, so I told myself probably I had to learn to compose the music and then play it."
  The article also talks about her instrument:
The steel-stringed instrument sounds vaguely like a violin. Chen's was handmade by China's famous erhu maker, Wang Geng Xin. It is 20 years old - aged for a erhu.
  "They are not like violins, where older is better," said Chen. "In the sound box we have a little snakeskin. If it's too old, the snakeskin becomes loose. The weather is a big factor, too. If it is humid, that's bad for the skin. If it's too dry, that's not good either. I've kept mine very well."
Lance Hahn / J Church "Dead Man" by Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot, #18 (2000), pp. 66-69 profile of the man behind J Church
Kevin So "Camping in Concert; at this outdoor folk-music festival in rural Texas, you're not a "Kerrvivor" unless you stay till the end." by Minna Morse, Smithsonian, June 2000, p.16 "I encountered Kevin So, another artist who'd gone from New Folk to Main Stage performer... He had come to Kerrville for the first time in 1996, 'with absolutely no dough,' and worked selling festival merchandise. After he was invited to be in the New Folk competition the following year many of the volunteer staff showed up to root for him. Just two years later, he was featured on the Main Stage on Saturday night of the festival's opening weekend. He was still revved from his crowd-pleasing performance when we spoke backstage."
Chen Chien-nien "Aboriginal pride shines at music awards" by Rita Fang, Taipei Journal, 2 June 2000, Vol.XVII No.21 best composer and best male performer at Taiwan's Golden Melody Awards for 2000
Alan Hovhaness obituaries in the NY Times (23 June 2000) and Seattle Post-Intelligencer (22 June 2000) newspapers  
MP3 "A little net music", by Stuart Whitmore, Asiaweek 7 July 2000, pp. 44-48 mentions,, and
drum machines and Mickey Tachibana "Human beatbox; Mickey Tachibana dreams of a museum for the heart and soul of electronic music: the drum machine." by Charlie Amter, San Francisco Bay Guardian, 12 July 2000, p.58 "...after seeing 80-some drum machines at Tachibana's makeshift Market Street loft space, one can't help being amazed at the technology's evolution, and at the personality of each machine."
Vietnamese pop "Vietnam's Musical Invasion: The popularity of new songs from the homeland has widened a political and cultural divide between young people and older generations who see it as mere propaganda.", by Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times 8 August 2000 Sales of Vietnamese expat music recordings are losing out to cd's from the homeland. (One could say Saigon is beating Little Saigon.) "A Times survey of more than 25 music stores and recording companies found that sales of local artists have fallen 30% to 70% from their peak in 1995. In many music stores, the Vietnamese-made music sells out, while local products go untouched."
  The article mentions expat singers: Elvis Phuong, Trizzie Phuong Trinh, Nhu Quynh, and Lynda Trang Dai. A new star from Vietnam is Phuong Thanh.
  A Vietnamese American teenager is quoted as to why recordings by expatriate singers have lost favor, "Vietnamese singers have better voices, the lyrics are better, and the music is new. The singers, here, sing the same songs over and over again."

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