12 Girls Band uses old instruments in a new way

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12 Girls Band uses old instruments in a new way


A few years ago, thousands of Chinese girls flocked into Beijing for an audition that had called for young, beautiful and talented female musicians.
In October 2001, a group called the 12 Girls Band, was formed from 12 of those aspiring musicians who play traditional Chinese instruments, such as the pipa (vertical mandolin), erhu (Chinese violin) and dizi (Chinese flute). The group now numbers 13, as another member joined in 2003 but it plans to keep its original name, because the number 12 is important in Chinese numerology: There are 12 months in a year and 12 jinchai, or golden hairpins, represent womanhood in ancient Chinese mythology.
The group is coming to Seoul for their first concert here and to promote an album of their best recordings, which is scheduled for release later this month.
In a press release, they said they expect to bring a “Chinese wave” to Korea as Korean musicians have done in China.
The 12 Girls Band plays a fusion of Chinese traditional music and Western modern styles, such as pop and rock. The band’s producer and mentor, Xiaojing Wang, is one of the most influential rock musicians in China. He has said he decided to form the band after watching a performance featuring an erhu player and a rock band.
The group is not only a great success in China, but has also gained popularity in Japan and the United States. It topped the Oricon chart in Japan for 20 weeks in 2003, and was nominated in both the best world music album and best new artist sections at the 47th Grammy Awards last year.

by Park Sung-ha

The 12 Girls Band will perform an intimate concert on May 20 in the Nowon Culture & Art Center in Junggyebon-dong, northern Seoul, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost 35,000 won ($35) to 55,000 won. For information, call (02) 3392-5721.
The group will also perform in Seoul at the Olympic Hall of Olympic Park on June 2 at 7:30 p.m., June 3 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and June 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost 40,000 won to 100,000 won. For more information call (02) 2653-0109.
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