All Articles
All Articles

CRC Jianian: The Chinese Music Connection


CRC Jianian: The Chinese Music Connection

by Bailee Wolfson
on 12 June 2009

by Tisha Leung


When 38 year-old Toby Record revealed that as the Executive Director of CRC Jianian Inc., he had access to the Chinese government’s largest body of recorded historical and contemporary music, I was impressed—to say the least. Then he told me that rap producer Oh No laid some beats over a Chinese Peking Opera tune for the video game, Grand Theft Auto. So, how did Record, who grew up in Highland Park, NJ jamming to power pop and punk bands like The Jam, Husker Du, The Replacements, Ramones and Gang of Four, end up with Tibetan music and Chinese ballads? Read on.

What do you do?
I'm Executive Director of CRC Jianian Inc., a joint venture partnership between Los Angeles-based consultancy firm Global Entertainment Media (GEM) and China Record Corporation (CRC), the Chinese government's oldest and largest record company. We have the exclusive worldwide rights (outside of China) to publish and distribute CRC's historical catalog, featuring the largest collection of traditional Chinese instrumentals on Earth. We also have a wide variety of Mongolian, Tibetan, Jazz, Pop, Punk, Metal and the entire Peking Opera collection.


What music groups did you listen to growing up?

Growing up I listened to everything. My parents had thousands of records, so I went from Mozart to KISS to Scott Joplin to Zappa to G.G. Allin.

And from there, China came calling?

I got the job on the strength of my musical upbringing, my music supervision career and my keen understanding of world politics and international publishing. To have an opportunity to combine my passion (music) with my other two interests (politics and diplomacy) is serendipity.

What is it about Chinese music that excites you?
For me, the best way to form cultural bridges is through music and I have found immense similarities between Chinese music and music from around the world. For example, Mongolian music shares an uncanny bond with Celtic music. Shanghai Jazz is reminiscent of a Carl Starling meets Edith Piaf flavor (only in Mandarin instead of French). "Dance of The Yao People" is a hugely famous melody on the Mainland and reminds me of romantic Italian Mandolin music.

Do you see a lot of opportunity in integrating Chinese music on a global scale?
Integrating China on a global scale is inevitable. There are over 100 million Chinese living in countries around the world, with 90% of that population residing in metropolitan areas. From an economic and strategic standpoint, it makes sense to make available the world's largest body of recorded Chinese music. Many major companies have taken notice and I've secured placements of our music in HBO's "Flight of The Conchords," NBC's "30 Rock," and numerous feature films.

Continue reading...

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring
Loading More...