The collaboration between flutist/saxophonist Lao Dan and multi-instrumentalist Li Daiguo began in 2018. The duo named themselves “Benbo’erba & Babo’erben” (奔波儿灞与灞波儿奔), after two minions from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Delivering whimsical, improvisation-based melodies woven around the backbone of Li Daiguo’s quirky pipa and Lao Dan’s spiritual flute, Benbo’erba & Babo’erben take their listeners to a grotesque fairy world which presents a radical but light-hearted re-interpretation of traditional Chinese music. In 2019, the duo released their debut on cassette titled Benbo’erba & Babo’erben at the Old Heaven, a remixed live recording of their performance at the Old Heaven bookstore in December 2018. In this album, tribute is paid to Fei, owner of the Old Heaven bookstore and pivotal figure of the Chinese avant-garde scene, whose magnetic voice and demonic laughter can be heard at the very beginning of side A.
Lao Dan: Chinese bamboo flute/Bawu/Jew’s Harp/Vocals
Li Daiguo: Pipa/Mbira/Synth/Vocals