PAN DAIJING is an uncompromising, sonically exploratory artist who hails from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, in south central China. Her approach to her art is unbridled, bold, and straddles sound, installation, storytelling, choreography. Her raw approach as composer and performer takes many forms: sound, choreography, installation, and storytelling.
Her 2017 album for Pan, Lack 惊蛰, cracked open a world of neo-industrial minimalism, brutalist sequences such as “The Nerve Meter” rubbing shoulders with the more ethereal but discomfiting textures of “Phenomenon”‘ fiercely presenting, soul-baring.
For her new album, her second for PAN and her third overall, she poses the following conceptual question: what if a song was not a culmination but a singe, an imprint, or a crater left in the wake of creative process? More or less, perhaps, an absence defined by the impression left?
On the forthcoming Jade 玉观音, Daijing shifts into a new creative zone. In the four years that have elapsed since Lack 惊蛰, she’s had commissioned performance-exhibitions at the Tate Modern and Berlin’s Martin Gropius Bau and Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Huge pieces, for massive casts of opera singers and dancers, necessarily intense, it left Daijing retreating into a more introverted creative space. Jade 玉观音 is the sound of a sometimes quieter and personal refuge.
You can hear a single from the album below, “Let 七月”, in which Daijing shares fleeting, stream-of-conscious impressions over a dreamy glimmer of traditional Chinese instrumentation, that suddenly clouds with higher, more primal drones, washes and utterances of the soul.
“Solitude is like an immense lake you’re swimming through,” says Daijing of these songs. “Sometimes you dip your head in and sometimes you lift it above.”
Pan Daijing’s Jade 玉观音 will be released digitally and on vinyl by PAN on June 4th; you can pre-order your copy here.