Thursday, 21 August 2008

Alive ~ Sa Dingding

Was watching the Proms on BBC the other night and happened to catch performances and interviews with the winner of the World Music award, Sa Dingding. I was instantly mesmerised. Her music is unique, and I can only describe it by waying its a blend of Enigma, Björk, and Lisa Gerrard; combining eastern and western music.

Sa Dingding originates from the plains of Mongolia where she says: "Before we start to talk, we are taught to sing". She is the first artist in China to sing in Sanskrit, but she also uses Mandarin, Tibetan and a self-created language. Listening to her work, however, I found words unnecessary; her songs transmitting emotions direct to the heart and soul.

At 18,
Sa Dingding became well known in "dance music" circles in China, but her spiritual practices expanded her musical output and I would not be surprised if she became a worldwide phenomenon. Sa creates her own costumes and choreographs her own performances and is as graceful and elegant as she is beautiful.

This particular album has the following tracks listed:

1. Mama tian na (Mantra)
2. Alive (Mantra)
3. Holy Incense (Tibet Version)
4. Oldster by Xilian River
5. Tuo Luo Ni
6. Lagu Lagu
7. Flickering with Blossoms
8. Holy Incense (Chinese Version)
9. Alive (Chinese Version)
10. Qin Shang

This is the YouTube version of the video for Alive:

I have never been appreciative of Chinese music, even though my father was once keen on Chinese Opera, preferring instead their cinematic releases. Sa Dingding is apt to expand my musical horizons - I certainly hope there are more artists like her on the horizon.

Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

Bo said...

That was very interesting - visually stunning, though I've always found the reedy eastern head-voice vocal style a bit grating. That was beautiful though.