This one’s been a long time in coming. Abby is one of that rare but thankfully growing species of artist bridging the Pacific from West to East. She’s probably most famous in the US for her collaboration with Bela Fleck (who appears in the video), but she’s better known over here as the girl who actually, against all odds, made Mandarin bluegrass work. I originally filmed this in August for the Wall Street Journal, but it got lost in the post-Olympics, pre-Election shift away from China coverage. Luckily the GlobalPost took to the story and decided to put it up.
Abby makes a powerful argument both for and against “world music” (a genre I have to say I’ve never much liked): “It’s such an interesting phrase…because it really represents fusion music. It’s about taking this aspect of Arabic culture and this aspect of Eastern European culture [and throwing them together], whereas I think the future of global music is in having human beings spread across two cultures, or several cultures, and combining the music internally before it even comes out.”
I certainly hope so.