Groov­ing to the rhythms of Myan­mar hsaing waing

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - LAE PHYU PYA MYO MYINT

CON­CERT-GO­ERS thrilled on Oc­to­ber 2 to the splen­did mu­sic of kings. They heard the Voice of Myan­mar Golden Orchestra in Myan­mar His­tory, di­rected by the famed tra­di­tional dancer Man­dalay Thein Zaw and fea­tur­ing Myan­mar orchestra per­former Man­dalay Sein Tint Lwin and his group at the Yan­gon Gallery.

The Myan­mar Tra­di­tional Orchestra (Myan­mar Sai) was treat­ing them to the mu­sic that once en­ter­tained en­tire dy­nas­ties in the days of the Myan­mar Kings.

On a set of lat­tices and ba­nana trees, Myan­mar hsaing waing, a drum en­sem­ble in­volv­ing the great drum, cir­cu­lar se­ries of drums and gongs, bam­boo cas­tanets, the oboe, a short drum and other in­stru­ments, pro­duced a joy­ous sound pop­u­lar at char­ity shows and wed­ding cer­e­monies.

The open­ing cer­e­mony of the Oc­to­ber 2 show pre­sented the three jew­els: Bud­dha, Dhamma and Sangha. Man­dalay Sein Tint Lwin per­formed “Min­galar Byaw” as mu­si­cians filed in like novi­tiates pre­par­ing for or­di­na­tion.

Sein Tint Lwin fol­lowed up with “Ye Myan­mar”, a song cre­ated by his great-grand­fa­ther Sein Bay Dar, who won the Naymyo Balakyawthu award. Known as “Ye Ye Taut”, it was in­tended to stir the hearts of young peo­ple.

While Man­dalay Thein Zaw and Ma Aye Aye Myint Aung sang “Thadarphyu Tae Ma­har Ahlu” (The great Myan­mar Char­ity Show), women in tra­di­tional dress set out bowls of tealeaves on the tables in a re-cre­ation of a Bud­dhist monk’s or­di­na­tion cer­e­mony.

Man­dalay Thein Zaw said, “I ar­ranged and de­vel­oped this per­for­mance to help reac­quaint peo­ple with our mu­sic. I think peo­ple have been get­ting too far away from our mu­si­cal his­tory, which is a pity.”

Guest per­former Nann Win, a grand­son of Nan­daw Shae Sa­yar Tin and son of the great tra­di­tional ac­tor Shwe Nann Tin, sang “Tha Htay Warda”. He said, “These days too many peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence the world only through their mo­bile phones. I was very pleased to par­tic­i­pate in this show, which brings out the ar­chaism of nearly undis­cov­ered Myan­mar tra­di­tional mu­sic.” In his­toric style, au­di­ence mem­bers show­ered money on the mu­si­cians. Myan­mar hsaing per­former Sein Tint Lwin, play­ing with undis­guised plea­sure, said, “Myan­mar hsaing is very dif­fi­cult. But our gen­er­a­tion can build on what my grand­fa­ther Sein Bay Dar and my fa­ther Sein Maung Lwin handed down to me. My grand­fa­ther al­ways spoke of the value of our tra­di­tional mu­sic and he wanted both peo­ple in this coun­try and in the wider world to en­joy it.”

He added, “I’ve al­ways tried to of­fer the trea­sures of Myan­mar hsaing art, and my own ex­pe­ri­ence, to our young peo­ple.”

The last song, “Pawe Kyait Khin”, was ren­dered by Man­dalay Thein Zaw in a feast of taste­ful har­mon­ics greeted by ap­plause.

Myan­mar tra­di­tional dra­matic arts di­rec­tor Man­dalay Thein Zaw said, “This is not just a his­tor­i­cal arte­fact, but an en­ter­tain­ment for the peo­ple. It may be dif­fi­cult, but it is some­thing for all time.”

Pho­tos: Thiri Lu

Man­dalay Sein Tint Lwin per­forms “Ye Myan­mar”, a song cre­ated by his great-grand­fa­ther that con­tin­ues to en­joy pop­u­lar­ity.

The com­plex or­gan­i­sa­tion of Myan­mar hsaing waing re­quires high lev­els of co­or­di­na­tion and rhythm.

Per­form­ers pound the var­i­ous in­stru­ments mak­ing up Myan­mar hsaing waing, a drum en­sem­ble.

Man­dalay Sein Tint Lwin daz­zles the au­di­ence.

En­ter­tain­ers re-en­act a tra­di­tional Bud­dhist monk or­di­na­tion as the Myan­mar Sai plays “Min­galar Byaw” be­hind them on Oc­to­ber 2 at the Voice of Myan­mar Golden Orchestra in Myan­mar His­tory.

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