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15 Questions to Hanggai

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hi! Thank you for contacting us. We are based in Beijing, China.


What’s on your schedule right now?
We’ve got four gigs in downtown Beijing in December, which are regular shows of the band. And regarding the upcoming shows next year, our manager Robin Haller will give you more details.


What is your earliest musical memory?
When I was 4 or 5 years old, back in my home town called Xilinguole, Inner Mongolia, China, my grandpa put me on his lap and taught me a traditional Mongolian song. It was my earliest memory of music.


Was there a deciding moment, which made you want to become an artist?
I enjoyed that song very much – even though, at the time, I had no idea that one day I would be a musician myself.


How satisfied are you with life as an artist?
Not very much: So far I haven't found a life with ample freedom and  enough time to leave my urban surroundings.


What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
Regarding Hanggai, a good live performance means that we can interpret each of our songs in many different ways, and thus the audience can feel the different meaning of each song. In those moments, the entire band can capture the hearts of our listeners and create a unified harmony of musicians, music and audience by means of the ambiance set by our songs.


How do you arrive at your personal interpretation of a particular piece?
I try to grab the essential meaning of a song and interpret it in a rather simple way.


In which way, would you say, is your cultural background reflected in your performances?
We are trying our best to reflect our Mongolian cultural background. On the other hand, we also hope we can make our footprints into the urban world felt in our music.


How would you describe and rate the scene for traditional/roots music of the country you are currently living in?
Traditional/roots music in China is vital, minor, and also is facing great pressure.


Do you consider it important that more young people care for traditional/roots music? If so, how, do you think, could this be achieved?
Of course it is important to have more young people caring for traditional music. As for myself, what I can do is try my best to make my music more interesting and attractive. Still, it will take the support of a lot people and especially of the nation to make it happen.


How would you rate the importance of the internet and new media for you personally?
The Internet shortens the distance between people and it makes our communication with the whole world much easier. The new media are convenient, but they also encourage piracy, which has significantly impacted the recording industry.


How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
It’s like the relationship of myself and my horse.


Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
I like playing traditional percussions and Sharman drums. I think I can catch the essence of the Mongolian nomad music by playing these instruments.

Discography:
Introducing Hanggai 2008

Homepage:
Hanggai
Hanggai at MySpace

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