Danish folk veterans featuring young chinese guzhing player!

By Morten Alfred Høirup |

The Danish folk band Phønix has specialized in performing their very own versions of songs and ballads from the rich Danish vocal tradition, releasing 8 CD’s, and touring almost all over the world.

Now the quartett has started a joint venture with the young Chinese Guzheng player, SangKa. The Guzheng is a harp–like instrument, adding the sound of ancient strings to a band, that usually features instruments as clarinet, accordion, keyboards, percussion and vocals.

Phønix and SangKa met when Phønix visited China a couple of years ago, and though they really wanted to play together, they found that the Chinese and Danish cultures are very different. SangKa says:

”The truth is that when I first heard Phønix playing on a recording that was send to me from the Danish Cultural Institute, I thought: ”How can I possibly play with them, this is SO different?”. I know the traditional Chinese music well, and Phønix are so very Danish. But then I started to listen, not playing, just listening. Then when I met the band, I found out that yes, our instruments are very different, and yes, our cultures are very different as well, but as humans we are very close, and to play music together is just amazing, it makes me very, very happy!”

The Danish singer and keyboard player in Phønix, Karen Mose, also felt the difference, but she was also struck with the power of the music:

”For us playing with SangKa shows how music can make people come together and understand each other, even when we do not understand each others language. When we came to China we felt that everything was strange and scary and interesting and cool, but very far from Danish culture and tradition. Then when we started to play together, it was like we understood about each other, without having to put words on it!”

Phønix and SangKa are touring with their project in Denmark right now, performing 21 concerts for kids and adults all over Denmark, and at the same time planning their next tour to China in 2016 or 2017. The band is being supported by The Danish Cultural Institute in Beijing, who also help organizing the tour.

More info, music and videos at: www.phonixfolk.dk

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