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Djang San: Electric Zhongruan
Text and photographs by Laurent Hou

 

Djang San plays the hulusi.

CP: How have Chinese music and culture influenced your work?

Djang: Chinese folk music was a source of inspiration for me. I have used the pentatonic scale sometimes since both pipa and zhongruan are instruments based on it. You can hear the way I use the pentatonic scale on songs like “Where’s Happiness,” “Mad Horses,” “The Other Side” and a few others. I also took inspiration from Chinese poets like Ma Zhiyuan and Liu Yuxi. Along with the zhongruan, I also play other Chinese instruments. You can see me playing some of them at my live shows. Others, I mostly use when recording albums. I play the pipa, guzheng (Chinese zither), hulusi (cucurbit flute), xiao (a Chinese vertical flute) and xun (a traditional egg-shaped, holed wind instrument). I want to bridge cultures. I have been constantly mixing Chinese music with rock, blues and electronic music. Jazz is also an increasingly important influence in my work. I already used instruments from Brazil and Peru, the country where I spent part of my childhood. I plan to keep on broadening my musical horizons and use instruments from other cultures too. In the future, I might use Japanese and Korean instruments, and even old European instruments from the Middle Ages. 

 

 

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