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Wang Changyuan is recognized throughout the world as China's greatest living Zheng artist. Ms. Wang began playing the Zheng at age nine under the tutelage of her father, the late Xun-Zhi Wang. She was the youngest Chinese female to conduct a soloist performance at the age of twelve, which took place before an audience comprised of China's top leaders as well as influential members of Chinese society. Since then, given her remarkable skill and stellar artistry as a Zheng player, she has played to audiences throughout the world.
She is also the composer of the famous guzheng solo piece, Zhan Tai Feng (Chinese: 战台风, "The Fight with the Typhoon"), a dramatic depiction of fight of the Shanghai harbour proletariat against the forces of nature, while protecting the property of the people and the Chinese communist government. She composed the work in 1965 while living for three months in the dormitories of the Shanghai harbour and sharing her quarters with the workers there.
Chinese music may just be one of the most under-appreciated and misunderstood forms of music there is. It beggars belief why it hasn't garnered the same level of respect as Chinese movies, literature or even art in the world stage yet. It's like a beautiful woman with all her delightful bits covered up so nobody notices. I guess composers like Zhao Jiping are one of the few people that tried to at least bring elements of it to international audiences by way of cinema. But in the end he can only tailor his pieces towards the market and what you get is output almost inseparable from your standard new age or "world music" as they call it, which is a real shame. Pure, unadulterated Chinese music are true works of beauty and should never be mentioned in the same sentence as these phony, hokey tunes that you find interspersed across various media trying to pass off as genuine. From the little that I've had the good fortune of experiencing they're nothing short of amazing. More importantly though, the spirit of the natural environment is perfectly represented in musical form; instruments like the dizi can mimic bird songs effortlessly for example. As such, I feel as though I'm at one with nature when I listen to Chinese music and less fearful of my mortality.
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