Sounds of China
Dragon Boat Festival in Guangzhou, China
Dragon Boat Festival is loud, violent, and colorful. It is a festival with nearly 2000 years of history, in honor of poet Qu Yuan (340-278 BC). Team after team rows down the river, powering pencil-thin, decorative canoes with intricate dragons carved into the bow and stern. As they row, the teams chant, beat drums, and set off deafening firecrackers. Crowds, and even a musician or two, gather along the river to watch the boats as they float by.
HuangPu Ancient Port in Guangzhou, China
Guangzhou was a vastly important nexus of the Ancient Maritime Silk Road. HuangPu Port played a key role as a bustling port in the region, beginning in the Song Dynasty (960~1279AD). Today it no longer serves as a key trading center, but the architecture and village’s seclusion remain beautifully preserved. Taken from across the river from HuangPu Port at dusk, this recording captures the constant hum of a village now dedicated to local fishing, construction, and – during the day – tourism. José and I were there and had his clarinet, so at the very end, you’ll hear a little addition he added to the soundscape.