Muldavin Guitar Beijing Cowboys

A few other passions

While I have been doing research on environmental and social issues in China and Asia for 30 years, I have a few other passions. First among them is music. One of the things I love about Sarah Lawrence is that having a full and engaged life is seen in the most positive of ways. Thus, I can tell you that music in all of its forms is what makes my soul sing. And it has been an integral part of my fieldwork, usually being the most effective way I learn about the communities and many of the individuals I work with. In 1983 on a commune in northeast China, a sheep herder taught me to play (very badly) the erhu. We set up a regular musical gathering in a village house, and while learning 'Dong Fang Hong'? (The East is Red), I also learned the language, the place of folk music in the culture, countless myths and stories, and was able to begin communicating across what were vast gulfs of privilege, history, background, and understanding.

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