Twelve Girls and a Band
One dozen beautiful young women, all in their twenties, take the stage and stand before an array of exotic and ancient musical instruments. Although an uncommon sight, the moment they start to play, it is clear the members of the Twelve Girls Band are among the most gifted musicians in the world. Hailing from the People's Republic of China, the Twelve Girls Band is already one of that country's most popular ensembles.
Girls with Flutes
The Twelve Girls Band takes 1500 years of Chinese musical tradition and makes it contemporary. By fusing traditional instruments with modern harmonies and vibrant performances, they create a sound that crosses all cultural barriers, bringing unique tonal colors not only to their own compositions, but western standards as well.
Each member is a conservatory trained and a veteran of top orchestras, including the China Academy of Music, the Chinese National Orchestra and the Central Conservatory of Music. All members are multi-instrumentalists, and perform with classic intruments such as the guzheng (ancient zither with movable bridges and 16-25 strings), pipa (four-stringed lute with pear shaped body), yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer with a near-square soundboard), erhu (two stringed Chinese fiddle), and dizi (bamboo flute) along with other tradtional instruments.
Their influences range far and wide, weaving jazz and pop styles into classical Chinese music. The group's appeal is equally as broad, with children, teens, adults and grandparents filling arenas to see the Twelve Girls Band perform.
Girls with Dulcimers
The group presents a strong new voice for global music culture. That voice has been heard loud and clear, as Twelve Girls Band emerges as one of the most successful acts on the international stage. In Japan alone, the band's debut album remained at the top of the charts for 30 weeks and sold more than 2 million copies. A Japanese DVD of the Twelve Girls Band live in concert sold over 200,000 copies, and their live performances has been telecast around the world. This year they were named International Artist of the Year at the 2004 Japan Golden Disc Award ceremonies. Past recipients of this honorary award include Madonna, Celinne Dion and Mariah Carey.
The band's origin help explain this remarkable success. To begin with, twelve is an important figure in Chinese numerology. There are twelve months in a year, twelve jincai (or golden hairpins, representing womanhood) in Chinese mythology. When producer Xiaojing Wang (known as the father of Chinese rock music had the idea for an all female ensemble, he knew it had to have twelve members.
Girls with Pipas
For inspiration, the Twelve Girls Band turned to the art of Yufang, the female ensembles that played in the royal courts of the Tang Dynasty centuries ago. By playing modern arrangements on classical instruments, Twelve Girls Band crafted something unique in world music. Considering the global success of crossover artists like Enya, the Buena Vista Social Club and Riverdance, there is every reason to expect the exhibliarating style of the Twelve Girls Band to strike a similar chord in North America.
With Eastern Energy, the Twelve Girls Band rises to a new level of artistry. Like their debut CD, the new album features the compositions of Chinese composer/arranger Jianfeng Liang. In addition to his originals, the CD also contains covers of Coldplay's Grammy Award winning "Clocks" as well as Enya's "Only Time" and "Reel Around the Sun" from the international threatrical smash hit Riverdance.