Experimental Music: Zhang Jian (FM3)

Based in Beijing, FM3 (or FM ‘tsan’) traverse the global landscape of contemporary electronic music via sonic constructions on record, in  performance, and perhaps most famously, via the Buddha Machine (more in other sections or here). Zhang Jian and Christiaan Virant—the group members—began their collaboration in 1999, brought together through a shared interest in electronic composition, musical texture, and experimentation with forms of music making. They integrate Chinese cultural heritage in the form of sound, philosophy, language and material culture into their collaborative work that is at once of, about, and beyond China. As such, the group constitutes a vital component of Beijing’s experimental music scene that—alongside fellow artists such as Wu Na and Yan Jun who dynamically explore the possibilities of sonic art—is catalyzing an emergent tradition for 21st century musical practice in China.