Yiran Xuan – Looking Outwards – 11

I am a fan of a wide variety of music, including American folk music and Chinese folk music. In the middle of switching between Sanxian (Chinese traditional 3-string banjo) playlists to bluegrass playlists, I suddenly noticed that there was a great many similarities between the two genres. Both featured fast, colorful strings that operated in the major scales, often pentatonic scales, giving them energetic but grounded feelings. The topic of the songs are also similar, describing longings of home, the beauty of rural environments, and amusing interpersonal relationships. What this meant to me was despite the genres being folk, there was room for new growth and cross-cultural synthesis, and that the two cultures I have grown up were strangely bridged.

I searched for any realized union of the two genres, and I was happily surprised to find Redgrass:
The Chinese musical group featured frequently experiments with combining traditional Chinese instrumentation with the music from other cultures, including American jazz, Malaysian percussion, and experimental electronic music.


(Completed with 2-day extension)

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