Oslo-Beijing Folk+Metal Compilation (Project)
From Music-China Wiki
Oslo-Beijing Folk+Metal Compilation Project page, this project is in Collaboration with Rockinchina.com!
Working Title: “Folk & Metal Express: Beijing-Oslo”
– a compilation of cover songs on traditional folk songs by Chinese and Norwagian metal bands –
by Yang Yu – 2012-03-05
Official support: Concerts Norway, Music Export Norway, Confucius Insitute，Chinese Ministry of Culture （TBC）
One of the best gateways to learn about a country’s culture is music, especially traditional folk music. With metal music as one of the most active and wide spread form of pop music and it’s natural bound to folk music and folklore, by doing metal versions of traditional folk songs one can connect different groups of people, even those with as diverse backgrounds as Norwegians and Chineses if they’d learn and perform with each other.
So this project is a collaborative work between metal musicians and professionals of this genre both from Norway and China with long sustaining benefits of culture exchange and in depth communication, of which its turn-out not only will be interesting for metal fans but also gain an greater attention in general on both ends.
Norwegian metal bands interpret and record a cover song on Chinese traditional folk music with the help of their partnering Chinese counterparts and Chinese metal bands do the same on Norwegian folklore. Project conductors on both sides will also be assisting the whole communication process.
The result will be a compilation CD of ca. 12 bands with 12 songs, released by Indie Recordings for Norway and Europe and as “cover CD” on a Norway speciall issue by Painkiller Magazine in China. The release date is set to be April 2013, granting the musicians enough time to learn and produce those songs. A release event can be organized through Inferno Festival with participating bands performing these songs live on stage. Painkiller Magazine/Productions will arrange a showcase party for this project in Beijing, too. And in case one of those Norwagian bands gets the chance to tour China, they can play together with their Chinese partner bands aswell.
Arguments in details:
Why folk music?
Folk songs can be seen as a crystalized form of expression in every country’s traditional culture, carried through generations, singing about the most essential values of its people and yet put in a simple and easy going way that appeals to both old and young. Especially in pop music, diverse cover versions of folk songs seem to be able to bring different people together who otherwise would have totally different taste of music. What about people with different cultural backgrounds? Would a Chinese grandpa be interested in a Norwegian black metal band? Chances are, if they start singing a Chinese folk song, he might be willing to risk the noise pullution more than their regular song repertois.
Features & Benefits:
- less author right issues with old traditional folk songs
- great popularity and high recognition values to begin with
- can be interpreted in all different styles without losing it’s original message and meaning
Why metal music?
Metal music on the other hand, even being a relatively new form of pop music and yet already wend through a constant developemnt of over 40 years still is on of the most vivid music genre with it’s strong impact on fans world wide. And metal music always had the strong relationship to old cultural traditions and folklore. In fact, the vast heritage of old and ancient culture has been one of the most important inspiration to this music genre. Due to prejudices by outsiders such as being too “loud”, “harsh” or “noisy”, metal music has also been underestimated of its true music quality, so playing the tunes that everyone is familiar with may reveal it’s beauty behind the sound walls of distortion and blastbeats with more ease.
Features & Benefits:
- a music form with it’s own patterns and ways of expression for easier reception among fans of this genre
- tremendous impact already existing beyond georaphical, linguistic and cultural barriers
- enthusiastic and loyal fan base of this genre will help on raising general attention and awareness by other
- Norway has far more to offer than just the so called True Norwegian Black Metal
Why Norway and China?
Both countries are known for their own deep culturual backgrounds and traditions that still have a strong impact on the modern society. Yet in this respective one would rarely bring these two countries in one thought, in fact there hasn’t been too many encounter moments yet in music compared to other Scandinavian or European countries. So it’s about time to start doing something and it will be very interesting to see how the linguistic aspect will work out since both countries feature quite complex forms of both written and verbal expressions that wont be easy deal with. But in the end, one might find out that these two countries have actually more in common as expected …
Features & Benefits:
- attention and interest in learning Norwagian or Chinese
- help breaking the ice culturally, beyond “foreign policy issues”
Concept and methodes
The basic masterplan:
Generally speaking, participating bands have their artistic freedom to interpret the song as they think it’s for the best, but in terms of covering traditional folk music songs, it is also important to fully understand and with the attempt to adopt the original feel and meaning presented within. As the cultural gap may thinkably be quite big between the two countries, it will be essential to the success of this project that participating bands from both countries work closely together and help each other on critical details, e.g. meaning of words or expressions, accentuation, pronounciationg, core melody and rhythm patterns etc.
Therefore it is suggested that a band does not only suggest a song of their own culture to their partnering counterpart from the other country but also produce a demo version the way they suggestively think a cover version could be done that makes sense in terms of retaining recognative feel and values of the original. To solve issues on correct pronounciation, the suggesting party better does another extra effort and read out or sing the lyrics clear and slow paying great attention to details so the collaborating party can learn and performe it with more ease.
On this behalf, the partnership working structure is not only established between the project leaders but also bands from the two country. We will consider the constellations according to style and sub genre etc. to match two bands to be partners who would work with and help out each other during the learning and creative processes.
When a final version has taken shape, the band is required to record and produce the song on their own and supply the end mix to the label of this project, Indie Recordings who would do the mastering of all songs before pressing and releasing them on CD.
Each band will keep the copy right for their song except for granting the publishing label Indie Recordings for the official CD release (with re-issue option) and promotional usages also for Painkiller Magainze and other supportive media. This way they can also release and add this song to their later publications, independently from this project.
The project conductors will keep track of the most important steps and document it in form of text report or even documentation film to be published later. The experiences gained on this project can be shared with other organizations or band collaborations with similar attemps. Collaboration and organisation:
The collaboration for this culture exchange project is initiated by the for partners with Indie Recordings and Inferno Festival (Radar Booking) on the Norwegian side and Allnordic.com and Painkiller Magazine/Productions on the Chinese side.
The main project leaders and conductors are Simon Fuellmann of Indie Recordings, Jan-Martin Jensen of Inferno Festival and Yang Yu of Allnordic.com and Painkiller Magazine/Productions. All important decisions and choices will be done by joint call of all three project leaders above.
This project will seek for official support at organizations such as Concert Norway, Music Export Norway, Confucius Institute etc.
Schedules and events:
Richt now, we are in the pre-phase to evaluate and work out the concept. Yang Yu will be participating on this year’s Inferno Festival in Oslo where all three project leading partners will sit together and refine the whole plan of this project to the details. If all works out fine, the Inferno Festival will be an good oppurtunity to officially initiate and announce this project.
Within one year, we will conduct each step and help the bands through creative and communication processes until we finally receive enough song materials for the end master. The official release date would be again on Inferno Festival 2013 where it is planed to have some of the participating bands to perform their cover songs live on stage for its release party.
Smaller post-project events may follow when ever there the oppurtunity occurs for these Norwegian bands to perform in China or the Chinese bands to perform in Norway.
Tasks and assignments:
An official bilingual info page about this project for e.g. official announcements, updates, declarations etc. will be establish, suggestively on Allnordic.com
The Norwegian project leaders will conduct all productive steps and processes related to all Norwegian bands, including pre-phase negociation on terms of collaboration and participation. The Chinese project leader will do the same with Chinese bands.
A simple contract must be signed between band and label where basic terms of usage, publishing and copy right issues will be agreed upon.
More detailed tasks to be listed …
Band choice and suggestions:
All project partners suggest potential bands and discuss about the final choices. Bands should be representive for each country of the specific genre with a fair portion of both renowned and young bands. Out of the exchanges between project partners prior to this proposal a list of Norwegian bands already took shape, mainly proposed by Simon , consisting out of the following 6 choices:
- Enslaved (art rock/metal)
- El Caco (stoner metal)
- 1349 (melodic black metal)
- Vreid (progressive black metal)
- Borknagar (viking metal)
- Djerv (modern metal)
As for Chinese bands, the following would be made by project initiator Yang Yu:
- Suffocated (old school thrash metal)Confirmed
- Spring & Autumn (melodic folk metal) Confirmed
- The Ghost Spardac (metalcore) Confirmed
- The Falling (metalcore) TBC
- Die From Sorrow (melodic death/black metal) TBC
- Zaliva D (dark ambient, electro black metal) TBC
A final list still need to be approved by all sides. For now the list above is only suggestive.
Song choices and suggestions:
Conductors of this project will work out a list of suitable songs to be offered to the bands to work with. Each participating band can also suggest and add songs to this master list. But the decision who may use which songs must be be granted a final agreement by the project leading partners to avoide duplicate versions of the same song by different bands.
Later on, a complete list songs will be added to this proposal.
Creative process and production:
Each participating band is required to arrange, practice, record and produce (including mix) the song and deliver the final mix to the publishing label Indie Recordings. Indie Recordings will do the mastering process for all songs and press them on CD for final release.
Indie Recordings will also find a suitable graphic designer for cover art work and layout, eventually also for T-Shirts, advertisement etc. Maybe promotional video clips would help to gain more attention on the world wide web.
Appart from working on one’s own cover version, each band will also be asked to help out the partner band on interpretation of the suggestive song. For this, one would do a demo of the song both emphasising/advising the most recognitive parts and elements of the song and how it could work for the regular style of the partner band. For exsample, if the partner band is a black metal band, there would be typical ways how to interpret a piece of music accordingly to the typical traits of this style. Writing remarks would also be of great help to let the counterpart understand and learn about the song. And possibly most important are the lyrics. It would be for the best if one could read out or sing the lyrics clear and slow as an extra demo for the other vocalist. This way, each band can get enough references, suggestions and materials to work with and improve the turn-out. So, this will be a full-on learning process for each band. Once totally understood and figured out, the band can start working on their individual way of song interpretation.
Communication and learning process:
In order to meet the needs for sufficient communication work loads, more volunteers would be accquired for help on the linguistic and verbal fields both capable of satisfactory skills in Norwegian and Chinese language and expressions, ideally both in Oslo/Norway and Beijing/China.
That way they could go and meet the vocalists for face to face rehearse and help improving pronounciation of the foreign language and explain cultural background about each song or specific terms. Project leaders can also do the same using telephony tools such as Skype. There will also be a lot exchange between partner bands in verbal or written form, to e.g. discuss or solve artistic matters etc. Due to the big linguistic gap, a lot translation work will be done.
During the whole learning process, hand notes, demo tracks, version drafts etc. would emerge naturally, these would be a nice documentation to be safed and shared online via personal or band blogs entries altogether with maybe video clips or reports on experiences in other forms. Project leaders will collect all valueable links of this kind and show case them on once spot as learning and reference materials for other artists who like to do similar activities.
In the end, all participants will be asked to write a small report/resume about the whole experience which would be put together as part of the finishing project report, published at the end on the project page.
Promotion and media coverage:
All project leading partners will use each one’s own media relationships and promotional ways to spread the word about this project. Once this project is officially initiated with final title and offical graphic designs, we can send out the first announcements. Collaborative media support relationship will be established throwout China, Scandinavia, Europe and America, to be updated at an later stage.
- Chinese social networks: Douban.com, Weibo.com, Myspace.cn,Youku.com, Tudou.com …
- Western social networks: Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Myspace.com, Youtube.com …
- Print press: Painkiller Magazine (CN), Nerve Magazine (CN), So Rock Magazine (CN), X-Music Magazine (CN), InMusic Magazine (CN), Extrem Music Magazine (CN), Metal Hammer (NO + DE), Rock Hard (DE), Legacy Magazine (DE) …
- Broadcast (suggestive): DJ 99′s radio programs (NO), DJ Youdai’s radio programs (CN), CRI EasyFM (CN)
- Others: TBA
Target outcomes and values:
- CD release (suggestively as digi-book version with extensive info on lyrics and meaning of the songs TBD)
- Release events both in Oslo on Inferno Festival 2013 and in Beijing by Painkiller Productions
- long lasting partnerships and collaboration resulting out of this project
- the communication and learning process itself is valueable in terms of true culture exchange
- once learnt and performed, the cover song can be an attractive bonus to the live set list
- documentation of learning and production experiences to be share openly later on.
- promotional benefits for participating bands through media exposure and attention
- each participating band will receive 20 copies of the official release for free (TBD)
Links and contacts:
Indie Recordings www.IndieRecordings.net
Inferno Festival (Radar Booking) www.InfernoFestival.net
Allnordic.com (Rockinchina.com) www.Allnordic.com & www.RockinChina.com
Painkiller Magazine/Productions www.painkillermag.com
Yang Yu: email@example.com @北欧文化在中国AllNordic
An idea is always only as good as how well you make it happen. Down to its most elementary core, the essense of culture is also as valueable as how much meaning and efforts we put into it by engaging all our enthusiasm and energy in something we commonly believe to be truely good and worth the hard work.
The main aim of this collaborative work above all is the communication and learning process because you can only fully understand what you have learnt by heart and soul. With the inheritage of culture that we cherish and the music we love — and music doesnt stop at barriers of genre, styles, language or what so every — this project will bring people closely together on mutural grounds who maybe never have expected to discover so much in common with each other.
With all project leading partners who gain enough experience over years of full engagements in what we all do at best to provide the needed assets and actually turn this interesting concept in as interesting results that would be enjoyed, talked about and maybe even inspire others for further more creative collaborations long after this project has accomplished.