Folk singer Peng Liyuan, a household name in China, released a new album this week. Normally appearing in army uniform or ethnic Tibetan robes, her look this time is a break from the past. And the album has something different to add too.
The singer spent two years making the new album, which includes 13 classic folk songs from 11 different areas of China. One of the songs is a folk ballad from the Tibetan area of Yunnan Province. But the old favorites all have new flavors.
Peng Liyuan has added some new musical elements to the old folk songs, such as western wind and string instruments and electrical sound effects. It's hard to say exactly what category the works fit into - folk, pop or western classical. And it's sometimes hard to tell if it's really Peng Liyuan singing at all. The new album is sure to be a huge surprise for her fans.
Peng Liyuan said, "When I was doing the first few songs, I made my teachers and fans listen to them. They said they were good and I should keep going - they said I'd increase my audience this way. The changes I'm making are also a contribution to the field of folk music. So I'm determined to keep going. "
The album is new wine in an old bottle, but will her fans welcome the new Peng Liyuan? It may be a revolution for China's listening palates.
(CCTV.com May 24, 2004)