If you go

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

7:30 pm, Mon­day. Shang­hai Sym­phony Hall, 1380 Fux­ing Zhonglu, Shang­hai. 4008-210-522. Tan Dun (above) con­tin­ues his mu­si­cal ex­per­i­ment with the band Hang­gai (left), which is known for its fush­ion of Mon­go­lian and rock mu­sic.

Chi­nese com­poser and con­duc­tor Tan Dun is a mu­si­cian of many sounds. De­spite his back­ground in clas­si­cal mu­sic — he was trained at the Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic in Bei­jing in the 1970s, Tan has cre­ated mu­sic with the sounds of wa­ter, wind, pa­per and the chirp­ing of birds pro­duced by phones.

Com­bin­ing clas­si­cal sym­phony with rock in his lat­est ex­per­i­ment, the 60-year-old com­poser will take the ba­ton, to­gether with the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra and Hang­gai, a rock band of eth­nic Mon­go­lian mu­si­cians, to present a con­cert, ti­tled Sym­phonic Rock, in Shang­hai on Mon­day.

The con­cert is part of the on­go­ing Mu­sic in the Sum­mer Air fes­ti­val, which kicked off on July 2, and will run for two weeks.

Tan’s new work, ti­tled Shang­hai Tran­sis­tor, will premiere at the up­com­ing con­cert.

Adapted from one of the songs of Hang­gai, with the same ti­tle, Shang­hai Tran­sis­tor keeps the rock beats while in­te­grat­ing the sym­phonic el­e­ments. The hit num­ber Four Sea­sons Song, per­formed by the late Zhou Xuan, a pop singer and ac­tress from Shang­hai, has also been used in the piece.

“Clas­si­cal mu­sic is strug­gling to reach new and young au­di­ences. You can­not blame the young peo­ple,” says Tan. “Rock mu­sic is free and en­joyed by young peo­ple. By com­bin­ing rock and sym­phony orches­tra, I want to give clas­si­cal mu­sic a big­ger power, longer in­flu­ence and a larger young au­di­ence.”

Hang­gai, the Mon­go­lian term for a place with beau­ti­ful pas­tures, moun­tains and rivers, was formed by eth­nic Mon­go­lian mu­si­cians in Bei­jing in 2004. Now, it has eight mem­bers, in­clud­ing the vo­cal­ist Ilchi, the morin khuur (horse-head fid­dle) player Batubagen and vo­cal­ist-gui­tarist Yi­lalata.

Tan said in an ear­lier in­ter­view that “Hang­gai is from the vast Mon­go­lian grass­lands. I love their mu­sic be­cause they have the power of the Earth and na­ture. Their mu­sic also rep­re­sents a world trend in mak­ing mu­sic”.

Ac­cord­ing to Ilchi, who uses his throat sounds as the main vo­cal con­tri­bu­tion, Hang­gai col­lab­o­rated with the Na­tional Sym­phony of China un­der the ba­ton of Tan dur­ing a con­cert at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing in 2016. They per­formed to­gether at con­certs held in Ma­cao and Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, as well.

“Tan can be global and lo­cal with his com­po­si­tions. His at­tempts to com­bine sym­phonic mu­sic with rock are both bold and in­ter­est­ing,” says Ilchi.

The song Shang­hai Tran­sis­tor is from one of the band’s al­bum, ti­tled Horse of Col­ors, which was re­leased last year. The al­bum fea­tures the tra­di­tional sounds pro­duced in two dis­tinct pitches by one vo­cal­ist, folk in­stru­ments and Mon­go­lian lyrics.

At the up­com­ing con­cert in Shang­hai, the band will col­lab­o­rate with the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra, per­form­ing six orig­i­nal songs, such as Horse of Col­ors and The Ris­ing Sun.

An­other sym­bol of the grass­lands — the Mon­go­lian wolf — in­spired Tan’s work, Con­tra­bass Con­certo: Wolf Totem in 2014. The piece of mu­sic also will be pre­sented at the Shang­hai con­cert.

The com­poser be­gan to work on the piece af­ter read­ing the Chi­nese novel Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong. The book tells the story of a young man’s ob­ses­sion with the en­dan­gered wolf in the grass­lands of the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

“Mir­ror­ing the hu­man spirit and our re­la­tion­ship with the nat­u­ral world,” as the com­poser de­scribes it, the piece will be per­formed by Alex Hen­ery, the prin­ci­pal dou­ble bass player of the Syd­ney Sym­phony Orches­tra, and the Shang­hai Sym­phony Orches­tra.

With the goal of bridg­ing the gap be­tween clas­si­cal mu­sic and young peo­ple, the com­poser will also present his ear­lier works Pas­sacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds and In­ter­net Sym­phony Eroica in Shang­hai. In Pas­sacaglia, Tan has in­cor­po­rated the chirp­ing of birds pro­duced by phones. The In­ter­net Sym­phony Eroica fea­tures videos of some 3,000 mu­si­cians from more than 70 coun­tries.

Con­tact the writer at chen­nan@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

We try to sing about the peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in a sen­si­tive but also hu­mor­ous way.” Si­mon Ornest, band leader, The Tap Tap

Ornest says he had a feel­ing the con­cept was vi­able but has been as­tounded at its suc­cess.

He says the band’s strength is based on its two es­sen­tial rules.

“We come on time and we do what we promised among our­selves to do. It’s a pretty good ba­sis for any team­work,” he says.

In the be­gin­ning, The Tap Tap started with cover ver­sions of their fa­vorite songs. To­day it pro­duces mu­sic of its own, with help from lo­cal mu­si­cians, and lyrics that tar­get the world of the dis­abled.

“We try to sing about the peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in a sen­si­tive but also hu­mor­ous way,” Ornest says.

Its re­cent hit, The Bus Di­rec­tor, is about a bus driver who pre­vents a dis­abled man from board­ing the bus with his bi­cy­cle. The song has had more than 6.9 mil­lion views on YouTube, quite an ac­com­plish­ment for a song sung in Czech in a coun­try of only 10 mil­lion.

“At the be­gin­ning, peo­ple were more cu­ri­ous about what we are, about what the dis­abled can per­form,” says Jana Au­gusti­nova, a singer from the band. “And then (came) pity, won­der. Now, we have fans as any other band. They like our mu­sic and they don’t con­sider us a band of dis­abled kids but as a real band.”

To­day, the 20-mem­ber en­sem­ble plays about 60 con­certs a year. De­spite all the dif­fi­cul­ties of go­ing on the road, The Tap Tap has played a num­ber of Euro­pean cap­i­tals. This year it is cross­ing the At­lantic to put on con­certs in New York City, Wash­ing­ton and Chicago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.