龚琳娜原生态民歌《忐忑》 Gong Linna’s Folk Song, Tan Te

Gong Linna in the woods (picture via Gong Linna's official website)
Gong Linna in the woods (picture via Gong Linna's official website)

This Chinese folk song,  Gong Linna (龚琳娜)’s Tan Te (disturbed) 《忐忑》 is spreading like an infectious virus all over the Internet recently. The song is available for free download on her website.

It is hard to describe this song. You have to listen to it yourself to get a feel. There’s no other songs I know that is quite like this.

The lyrics is a string of vocal, not translatable into any languages. It is described by many Chinese netizens as a “神曲” (Divine Song) that is impossible to imitate and I am of the same sentiment.

Nonetheless, many still tried (and failed), with comical results. Check out some of the intentional or unintentional spoof videos below:

“Crazy” Chinese boy:

“Crazy” Chinese girl:

Hong Kong star, Chapman To (杜汶泽):

Theatrical crew backstage:

A bit on Gong Linna’s background, via her official website:

Gong Linna was born 1975 in Guiyang, Guizhou province (located in the Southwest of China). She first appeared on stage at the age of five. Since her early childhood she knew that she wanted to become a professional singer. At 16 she began her studies at the Chinese Conservatory of Music where she held her first and highly acclaimed concert as soloist in 1999. Since that she has been a soloist with the Zhongyang Minzu Yuetuan, China’s most renowned traditional music orchestra. In addition to many other awards, she won the Chinese National Singing Competition in 2000 as best female singer, including the Special Audience Award, gaining the audience votes of over a million Chinese television viewers.

In 2001 Linna’s first solo-album “Kongque fei lai” was published, presenting recordings from the previous 5 years. One year later she met composer and producer Lao Luo, who had already established himself as one of the masterminds of New Chinese Art Music, and collaborating with him she started a new artistic life. Experiments with world-music-fusion and avant-garde music as well as ethno-musical fieldwork marked the next years. In 2003 Linna contributed to the album of “Wu Xing”, published on CRC. On this album Linna gave her debut as song-writer with beautiful lyrics. Her next album “Zou Shengming de Lu”, published 2005 by KUKU-Music, finally set a landmark in Chinese Art Music. Since 2006 Gong Linna is performing with a stunning chamber music ensemble formed by some of China ‘s best instrumentalists and has been performing on many international festivals and prestigious concert halls.

To end, there’s rumour floating around that Chinese pop diva, Faye Wong (王菲), is interested to do a cover of the song. If this is true, I cannot wait to hear her version! 🙂

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One thought on “龚琳娜原生态民歌《忐忑》 Gong Linna’s Folk Song, Tan Te”

  1. If there is anyone with both the talent and the voice (and the courage) to sing that, it would be Faye.

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