Li Daiguo (李帶菓)
Li Daiguo is one of the leading figures in China’s experimental and traditional music communities. Within the past decade, he has carved out a singular niche that few others occupy, that of skilled improvisational artist (he has a reputation for leaving jaws on the floor, layman and critic alike), musical polymath (proficient at a dozen different instruments alongside throat-singing and beatboxing) and dynamic live performer known for his eclectic collaborations with a seemingly-limitless roster of colorful characters and ensembles, including transgressive Japanese butohdancers, fellow all-star musicians (marquee names like Sainkho Namtchylak, Rick Parker, Peter Scherr, FM3, Eyal Maoz, Shanir Bloomenkrantz, Kink Gong, Satoko Fujii, Sato Yuki ,Yan Jun, and Dickson Dee) and other lunatics that he meets when he is busking, an activity that he does anonymously from time to time.
Born in 1981 in Oklahoma, USA, to Chinese/Taiwanese parents, Li Daiguo received training in music from the age of 5, beginning with western classical music on violin and expanded to bluegrass, Chinese classical music (erhu, pipa) and double bass by the time he entered University. Li studied Literature and music at San Diego State University, focusing primarily on literary theory, world music ( Finnish folk music, Chinese classical, Carnatic music), and contemporary classical composition and improvisation.
After graduating in 2003 and relocating to mainland China in 2004, Li began to develop his compositional style and blend of extended techniques for bowed and plucked instruments, influenced largely by his studies of different traditions of music. In 2008 he also began to study the Shona mbira and has traveled to Zimbabwe to deepen his understanding of polyrhythms and ritual trance.
In recent years he has taken part in performances at such venues and events as Cite De La Musique (Paris, 2014), Sonic Protest music festival (France, 2013), Culturescapes Arts Festival (Switzerland, 2010), Norway Flykescommune Educational music tour (Norway, 2012), Sally Can’t Dance Avantegarde Music Festival (Beijing 2009, 2011), as well as regular performance tours in China, Japan, Korea, Israel, and Europe.
As a composer, Li Daiguo has composed for Guangzhou Modern Dance company, Guangzhou Ballet company, Nobu Khan Malaysian Butoh Dance festival, video artist Ye Funa, and released albums of original compositions on record labels in China, Japan, and Israel.
LI DAIGUO makes music with the following instruments: pipa, nanyin pipa, members of the huqin family (including the erhu, sihu and banhu erxian), a variety of ethnic flutes (including the hulusi, koudi, bawu,xiao and the nanxiao, the Chinese predecessor of the better-known Japanese shakuhachi), shona mbira, violin, viola, cello, beatboxing and overtone singing.
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