Distant Sounds: The Story of Qui Xia

Distant Sounds: The Story of Qui Xia

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17 minutes


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Distant Sounds profiles Qiu Xia He, a Chinese-born pipa musician who lives in Vancouver. Qiu Xia [chew-shah] was sent to music school by her parents at an early age to learn a trade so that she wouldn't be sent out to work in the fields like so many unskilled labourers in the Cultural Revolution. At 13 she became a professional pipa musician and in 1989 she was chosen to travel to Canada to play in the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Once here she decided to stay.

Qiu Xia has been able to visit her family in China only once since she settled in Canada and has encountered many difficulties in her struggle to gain recognition for her beautiful instrument and music.

Now the hard work is paying off. With her two bands, Silk Road Music and ASZA, Qiu Xia has released critically acclaimed CDs, been nominated for "Best Global Album" at the 1997 Juno awards, toured South East Asia and represented Canada in the Commonwealth Games Arts Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Her eclectic tastes in musical styles and in the musicians with whom she collaborates and improvises create a truly diverse musical form. Her story, like her music, has universal appeal and is a tale of determination and inspiration.

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