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.
Two of the three famous Mongolian singers we referred to earlier were Dedema and Tengger. However, Buren points out that these two both come from the west of Inner Mongolia, meaning that their music contains much of the sadness connected with this area's climate and geography. Western Inner Mongolia has relatively harsh natural conditions, with the existence of desert as well as grassland. On the other hand, Buren comes from northeastern Inner Mongolia, near the Greater Hinggan Mountain. In comparison with those in the west, people living in the northeast don't have to struggle so much for their survival, so their music is subsequently more serene and in accord, rather than at war with nature.
"The west of Inner Mongolia is totally different from the east. People in the west have been struggling with the desert for hundreds of years, while our ancestors have been living in Hulunbeir Grassland, where for centuries there has been an abundance of water resources and plantations. So it's easy to imagine that different cultures would be cultivated in these two different places. My countrymen don't sing a song with a hoarse voice like Tengger, with his touch of gloom and blues." Okay, next let's enjoy a song from Buren which sings of his home, the Hulunbeir Grassland, and his deep feelings for this area.
In the preface of this album, there are several sentences written by Buren, which expound his understanding towards the grassland and its culture. Since our program is nearing its end, I'd like to play the last three pieces of music together with these moving words.
"The wild geese fly to lay their eggs right here on the grassland. The old men only let us children watch them from a distance, and never let us approach them. They say that if your shadow casts itself on the eggs, then the wild geese will desert their eggs." "The sheep and cattle of the herds are eating grass freely and casually on the grassland. Nobody watches over them. They are the life of the grassland, and this is the way that they live."
"The nomad won't leave any evidence of himself after his death. Dig a pit on the grassland and put the body into it. Then, put the soil back on top. At first it will look a little bit bumpy, but gradually it will flatten out. A year or two year later, nobody will be able to find it."
"In my memory, the grassland was colorful. At that time, one could find over 100 species of herbs within an area of one square meter. In spring, it had colorful flowers; in summer, it was boundlessly green; in autumn, it became golden yellow. Nowadays, many people who travel to my hometown will tell me, ˇ®Your hometown is so beautiful with its boundless greenery." In their eyes, this green is the symbol of life. But I am clear that this single shade of green, without colorful flowers, doesn't represent life. Instead it indicates that the grassland is getting old and dying."
I really don't want to interrupt such peaceful and pure music, but unfortunately time's up for today's program. In this tune of The Date with the Grassland, I hope that everyone could make his or her effort to save the grassland, to keep its beauty. Tell us what you think about the music and the program. You can mail to English Service, China Radio International, Beijing, China. Postal code, 100040. Our email address is email@example.com.