“They all belong to the generation of Chinese who leave home to seek a better life in big cities. As a result, their music comes from the viewpoint of an outsider struggling to survive in the city and, at the same time, address issues surrounding China’s vast countryside undergoing rapid change,” says Chung, who is an assistant professor at National Chengchi University’s College of Communication.
The festival will close on Sunday with an evening performance by Pinuyumayan musician Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw from Taiwan and Finland’s Jouhiorkesteri, a four-piece ensemble each performing with a Jouhikko, a type of Finnish bowed lyre with strings made of horsehair.
The members of Jouhiorkesteri are part of a new generation of folk musicians influenced by Finland’s folk revival, which begin in the 1980s when academics and educators began emphasizing traditional Finnish music in school. Students were sent to live and work with old folk musicians in towns and villages, rather than learning music scores in classrooms, according to Chung.
“They make their own instruments and learn to sing and play like [the elders]. Their lifestyle and value system clearly comes from folk culture,” she says.
Since its inception in 2001, Migration has become the premier event for fans of folk and world music. Over the past week, the festival has hosted a series of seminars and discussion panels by invited musicians including Surachai and Takashi Nakagawa from the Soul Flower. More free events including live music demonstrations, outdoor mini-concerts, art workshops and the Bow to Land Farmers Market (彎腰市集) will take place over the weekend at the Zhongshan Hall. For more information, please visit the event’s bilingual Web site: www.treesmusic.com/festival/2013mmf.