From the Country to the City: 30 Years by Shan Ren

Near Haba, Yunnan Province © Philippe Semanaz with CCLicense
Near Haba, Yunnan Province
© Philippe Semanaz with CCLicense

The band Shan Ren (山人), or Mountain People, hails from the remote Yunnan Province in southwestern China and combines indigenous folk music with rock and reggae. Utilizing varied instruments from local minority communities, interesting rhythms and harmonies, and vocal techniques, such as the throaty trill used in the video below, their music posessess an exotic and flavorful quality. The band continues to gain popularity for its stirring performances and is now performing outside of China to curious and enthusiastic crowds.

It is the aim of Shan Ren to share their perceptions of the world, and this video exemplifies their purpose and their music beautifully. 30 Years is about a young man who came from the provinces into the city with big dreams of success and love. He is now thirty years old and realizes that his hopes were but pipe-dreams. There are many like him who have difficulty adjusting to modern city life despite their dreams and best intentions. This is beautiful and earthy music matched by an imaginative animated video. Enjoy!

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