Biman Brothers & Family: Qiang Polyphonic Singing

Qiang folk songs rely on polyphonic singing to illuminate history, legends and stories. Zewang Renqing and Geluo Zhaxi, who learned to sing with their parents while farming, will be joined by their wives to re-create the song-and-dance repertoires associated with local parties.

Qiang songs are passed along through an oral tradition rather than written down and generally features a near-soprano singer and another lower, bass singer. In the wake of Sichuan’s massive 2008 earthquake, retaining and strengthening these ancient traditions has become difficult, but these artists are engaged in helping to reverse the tide.

Learn more about Qiang polyphonic singing at the Artist Talk on July 13 at 2pm.

Everyone: FREE

Saturday, July 12, 2014
9:00PM – 9:45PM
235 Queens Quay West

The Qiang people live mostly in valleys in western Sichuan Province, which was severely damaged by an earthquake in 2008, thereby threatening the continuity of Qiang culture.

Zewang Renqing 泽旺仁青, Geluo Zhaxi 格洛扎西
Zewang Renqing and Geluo Zhaxi are brothers who learned Qiang polyphonic singing while herding cattle with their parents. Today there are relatively few who can still sing these ancient songs, which document the history of the Qiang people. In 2006, Zewang and Geluo won the bronze prize at the CCTV National Youth Singers’ Competition and have since toured not only nationally but also internationally. For the Folklife Festival, the brothers are joined by their wives Shi Maomao 石昴毛 and Lin Macuo 林玛磋 to re-create the atmosphere of local wine parties with songs and dances.