Chinese Superstar Sa Dingding

Tom Schnabel explores the new album from Chinese singer Sa Ding Ding. The Chosen Ones, inspired by a trip across China from Chengdu to Kunming, captures the music of communities isolated geographically from modern Chinese history. 

There are cuts like The Chosen Ones called "Ru Ying Sui Xing", or "Like a Shadow is Following You" (track #2) and features the Miao people from the village of Xiaoshuijing on the outskirts of Kunming.    The villagers there have been Christians for over 100 years, untouched by the cataclysms of Mao Tse Tung.  The imagery here is that of flower petals, breezes, and joy.  This cut also features Beethoven's immortal "Ode to Joy" from his final symphony, an iconic work often associated with historical events (think of the Berlin Wall coming down, concerts played to mark the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks).  Part of the lyrics the Mio villagers sing go like this:

"Goddess of Joy, holy and beautiful....your strength can eliminate all differences between people....take my hand and sing for joy with me..."  Again, music that is an affirmation of humanity and the desire for peace and harmony.

On this cut you hear them singing Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th.  Another cut, "Zhi Shang Ai" (Dedicated with Love, track #6) ), Sa Dingding uses a metaphor of one flower among a sea of flowers to represent idealized love.

Read more on Tom Schnabel's Rhythm Planet Blog.


Track List:

  1. Sa Dingding | Ha Ha Li Li Remixed by Paul Oakenfold | Harmony | Wrasse Records
  2. Sa Dingding | Dedicated With Love | The Coming Ones | Universal Beijing
  3. Sa Dingding | Something Like A Shadow Is Following You | The Coming Ones | Universal Beijing
  4. Sa Dingding | Capricorn | The Coming Ones | Universal Beijing
  5. Sa Dingding | The Fragrance Of The Moon | The Coming Ones | Universal Beijing
  6. Youn Sun Nah | Lento | Lento | Act Music
  7. Youn Sun Nah | Hurt | Lento | Act Music
  8. Youn Sun Nah | Ghost Riders In The Sky | Lento | Act Music
  9. Youn Sun Nah | Arirang | Lento | Act Music





Tom Schnabel