Many of you may have already realized that the music we can now hear could only have come from the vast grasslands of Mongolia. However, you may be surprised to hear that today's singer is not a full-time professional musician, but rather a journalist from CRI's Mongolian Department. His name is Buren Bayaer, and he's recently released an album entitled "The Sun, the Moon and the Stars." So, if you want to find out more about this homegrown CRI talent, stay with us as we finish today's first song, "Horizon."
As we mentioned earlier, today's singer Buren Bayaer is actually a program host for CRI's Mongolian Department. However, 15 years ago he was still working in his hometown, which is located in Inner Mongolia. Born in 1960, Buren was revealing his musical talents from as young as six years old, with his parents and neighbors always encouraging him to perform for the local community. Yet this early acclaim proved to be a false dawn, after Buren entered middle school and became disinclined to perform in public.
"At the age 13 or 14, youth will always adopt a kind of rebellious psychology. I was no exception. So after leaving my hometown and going to the city to study, I was happy that nobody was asking me to sing any more. But one year later, some of my old friends who knew me well could not resist recommending me to the school's artistic troupe."
On entering this extra curricular group, Buren's interest towards music was revived, and he began to come into contact with all kinds of different music, including Mongolian songs, revolutionary songs, and even Peking Opera. Today, when he recalls such experiences, he thinks that he should be thankful to those days, which nurtured his enthusiasm and love towards music. From this solid musical grounding, he eventually went on to make his album with Poloarts record company. Notably, this album is mastered by the renowned Ou Dingyu, who once produced for the pop star Jacky Cheung.
That was "The Pastoral Song".
Buren has gained a number of prizes and honors for his wonderful singing, including Second Prize in the 1987 First Inner Mongolia TV Singing Contest and First Prize in the 1988 National Ethnic Minorities Young Singers Contest. He has also been invited to Russia so that he might judge an international singing contest. Yet for Buren, all these honors cannot compare with his beloved wife and daughter. Indeed, the deep love and emotion of this singer can be heard in our next song, "The Sun, the Moon and the Stars," which was composed by Buren over a decade ago, on the eve of his daughter's birth. It's a song which he performs together with his wife and daughter.
That was "The Sun, the Moon and the Stars," as composed by Buren and performed by him and his family.
Buren says that the popularity of Mongolian music among Chinese people can mainly be attributed to the efforts of three artists, Hu Songhua, Dedema and Tengger. In the 1960s, the Manchu artist Hu Songhua intoxicated China with his use of a Mongolian melody, and set off the country's first Mongolian music craze. Twenty years later, Dedema and Tengger again popularized Mongolian music in China with their more varied music styles. Although Buren Bayaer is not particularly preoccupied with the promotion of Mongolian music, he does believe that the music of this ethnic group is so diversified that most people are only familiar with a fraction of its repertoire. He therefore hopes to tell people something more about Mongolian music with his album. Let's play you another of his songs, "Shangri-la in Mongolia."
You've just heard "Shangri-la in Mongolia." Actually, the English translation of this song can't really emulate its literal title, which is "the Charming Hanggai." Hanggai is a Mongolian geographical term, which we will leave to Buren to explain.
"If you look at Inner Mongolia from a plane you will probably notice that there exist different landforms such as mountains, hills, desert and grassland. Usually the places where two different landforms connect boast amazing scenery. In Mongolian, we call such places ˇ®hanggai'."
So in Buren's songs, one can not only enjoy the beautiful melodies, but also learn something of the Mongolian culture. The next song, "Lover's Eyes" is another good example of this feature. This song describes the love of girls for the Mongolian horseman. Buren says that the horseman occupies a special position in Mongolian culture as he always appears proud and imposing, as well as riding the best horse on the grassland.