Gig Recap: Emu Erqu, Didi Aha, Han Han (2024.3.6)

Emu Erqu 俄木尔曲, Didi Aha 的的阿哈, Gooooose 韓涵 at SYSTEM 系统 2024.3.06

WV Sorcerer Productions teamed up with cultural and musical excavator and preserver Eryi Ribu (a native Nuosu himself) for a mini tour in support of their release in a series on traditional Nuosu music from Liangshan – this particular one dedicated to the mouth harp, an ancient instrument that has been telling their stories for thousands of years. 

With fewer and fewer people in the Yi countryside who can play (yet alone make this instrument) this distinctive brass and bamboo mouth harp (which can have up to five pieces within them and can produce multiple tones simultaneously with a very distinctive melody) it was a feat that organizers were able to two musicians from the region – Emu Erqu 俄木尔曲 and Didi Aha 的的阿哈 – to perform.

And while SYSTEM was likely an overwhelming setting for the pair of rustic and long-toothed performers, listening to their music was quite sweeping. The pairing with Han Han aka Gooooose, one of Shanghai’s most deft musicians and producers presented an intriguing experiment – a clashing of styles, cultures, and musical mentalities that didn’t quite gel as either side was perhaps hoping. But I much appreciated the effort – and when it did worked, it was quite mesmerizing – opening up a world of sonic possibilities. 

All in all, the evening represented a sincere appreciation of the music that found in some of the lesser-known parts of a China – a piece of cultural and musical history worth preserving and promoting. 

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