A concert featuring ethnic minority music will be held to introduce Seaphony Orchestra - the first Vietnamese ethnic minority orchestra at Hà Nội Opera House on December 12.
Seaphony Orchestra rehearsed before its debut show on December 12. — Photo facebook of Seaphony orchestra
The concert entitled Vietnamese Ethnic Music Concert will feature about 50 artisans, composers and musicians from many ethnic groups across Việt Nam. The artists will perform instruments such as the jaw harp, leaf flute, đàn tính, đàn goong, gongs, Baranưng drum, Gineng drum and đàn đó and folksongs from Tày, Thái, Dao, H Mông, Lào, M Nông, E Đê, Ja Rai, Sê Đăng and Chăm ethnic groups.
The concert and Seaphony Orchestra is under the S.E.A Sound project which was initiated by Nguyễn Nhất Lý and produced by Lune Production aiming to create a Southeast Asian musical platform where ethnic minority music lovers gather to compose and perform.
Lý and other musicians of the project including jew harp artist Nguyễn Đức Minh and traditional musician Nguyễn Mạnh Tiến who is working at Thăng Long Singing, Dancing and Music Theatre’s Traditional Ensemble have travelled to northern provinces of Lào Cai, Lai Châu, Lạng Sơn, Điện Biên, Yên Bái and Hà Giang and villages across Việt Nam.
They met artisans and sought authentic instruments from various ethnic groups to invite to join the orchestra. "We organised an orchestra based on all the music, instruments and cultures of Southeast Asian ethnic groups," said Lý. "We need to find young talents that can play instruments with skill. They don’t need to know music notes or have formal education at any musical academy. But they need to understand their own culture."
Aged 78, Lò Văn Lá is the oldest artist of Seaphony Orchestra. He performs khèn bè, an important instrument for Thái people. The orchestra consist of woodwinds, percussion and string instruments.
The woodwinds include jaw harp, leaf flute, đinh tak tà and Saranai flute. The jaw harp make sounds similar to a human voice and the leaf flute sounds like a stream or bird singing. The đinh tak tà flute is played with a nostril.
"Seaphony is not only how we gather the artists from diverse regions of Việt Nam," said jaw harp artist Minh. "It’s also our experiment to explore the potential of the orchestra, as well as determining the influence of music in our lives."
Minh was the only jaw harp artist in Việt Nam to win Best Artist at 2006 International Jaw’s Harp Festival in Netherlands. In Seaphony Orchestra, he not only plays flute or jaw harp, he also stages some performances.
Three concerts themed Northwest Ethnic Music; Central Highlands Ethnic Music and Chăm Ethnic Music were held in Hà Nội in March, June and September to introduce experimental music works.
Tickets are now available via message on Seaphony’s Facebook fan page and at the Hà Nội Opera House. — VNS