REDEFINING CHINESE MUSIC…
Preserve Heritage, Seek Innovation
Sound of Dragon Music Festival is Vancouver’s first festival devoted to “Chinese music”, showcasing very diverse musical styles: ancient folk and classical repertoire, contemporary compositions, jazz, world, fusion, and avant-garde improvisation in solo, chamber, and orchestral performances. While presenting authentic traditional music, the festival promotes creativity and innovation in imaginative new ensembles and projects, utilizing unusual cross-cultural instrumentations. By presenting musicians, ensembles and composers from different ethnicities, nationalities, and musical genres, Sound of Dragon re-defines “Chinese music” and reflects Vancouver’s growing multicultural environment, representing a highly creative music scene.
Activities – concerts, workshops, video screening, interdisciplinary performances and installation, and instrument petting zoo. In addition to ticketed concerts, the festival offers many free activities to the public, including many outreach events in the Greater Vancouver before the festival weekend.
FESTIVAL WEBSITE: www.soundofdragon.com and Detailed Schedule Below.
May 9 – evening
Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (Vancouver) – 7 – 8:30, Performance Centre
The VICO’s core roster consists of 24 musicians, some of whom are trained in the Western (European) classical tradition, while others are performers in the musical traditions of cultures from all over the world (Asian, African, East Indian and Middle Eastern, among others).
Big World Band (Vancouver) – Friday May 9, 8:30-9:30pm Exhibition Hall
Big World Band is comprised of musicians from diverse musical traditions of the world – Chinese, Persian, South-Asian, and European. This special concert will feature Zhimin Yu (ruan), John Oliver (guitar), Mohamed Assani (sitar), Hossein Behroozinia (barbat), Hamin Honari (tombek), and Farshid Samandari (bass), with special guest François Houle on clarinet.
Improviser’s Playland (Toronto/Taiwan/US/Vancouver) – 9:45 – 10:45pm, Performance Centre
The first meeting of four improvisors/composers: Toronto based pianist Lee Pui Ming has performed at every major jazz festival in Canada. Trained in western classical and contemporary music, she also draws influences from Chinese culture: from traditional music, popular songs, regional dialects, to street life. Lan Tung combines the worlds of Chinese, world, and contemporary music in her improvisation, creating new sounds on the erhu/Chinese violin and developing a unique vocal style. Based in Urbana, Illinois, Taiwanese zheng/Chinese zither soloist Yuchen Wang brings the virtuosity of contemporary techniques and the sensibility of Chinese music into improvisation. Renowned for his “quicksilver ability to morph and manipulate sound via digital technology” (Georgia Straight), Stefan Smulovitz transforms the laptop into a versatile instrument.
May 10 – afternoon
Cloud Bell Ensemble & Charlie Lui – 12-12:50pm, Performance Centre
Geling Jiang is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist on sanxian (three-string fretless lute), zheng, pipa and ruan. Combining the techniques of the western violin with the sensibility of the erhu, Song Yun is an ideal interpreter of new compositions. A multiple award winner, Charlie Lui masters a wide range of Chinese wind instruments. Charlie is the principal dizi player and general director of the BC Chinese Music Orchestra,
Yu-Chen Wang (Taiwan/US) – 1:10-2:00pm, Exhibition Hall
Yu-Chen graduated from Taiwan’s Tainan National University of the Arts, studying both the zheng and composition. Performing with precision and astonishing technique, Yu-Chen has premiered numerous contemporary works by many groundbreaking composers in Asia and North America.
Hong Kong Exile – Room C, Sat. 1:30pm & 4pm, Sun. 1pm & 4pm
Hong Kong Exile is an interdisciplinary arts company based in Vancouver made up of three emerging contemporary artists. HKX creates theatrical, experimental work inspired by cultural politics in an era of globalization.
Oliver & Yu Duo – 2:20 – 3:10pm, Performance Centre
Composer & guitarist John Oliver and master ruan (“moon guitar”) player Zhimin Yu formed a duo in 2006, specializing in the performance of high-energy, high-quality music, featuring new works and arrangements.
Jin Zhang & Huayi Choir – 3:30-4:30pm, Exhibition Hall
VBC (Huayi) Music Production Choir. Jin Zhang is the Music Director and Conductor of Vancouver Philharmonic Symphony Society, New Westminster Symphony Orchestra (since 1993), the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra (Intermediate), and the Artistic Director of VBC Music Production.
May 10 – evening
DB Boyko & Express Your Voice Choir – 6:30-7pm, Exhibition Hall
In 2009-2010, DB Boyko piloted an older adult initiative, Express Your Voice, with the Roundhouse Centre. Now in its fifth year, the group meets weekly to develop a music project inspired from their life experiences. For this performance, Choral director DB Boyko and pianist Lee Pui Ming collaborate to energize the ideas and lyrics of the Express Your Voice Choir.
Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan) – 7:15-8:30pm, Performance Centre
The Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (“gCO”) was founded in October 2000 by its artistic director and conductor Chih-Sheng Chen. A strong musical force in Taiwan, it represents a new generation of Chinese orchestral music.
Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (Small Ensemble) – 8:45-9:45pm, Exhibition Hall
An ensemble that sounds like Vancouver looks, its diverse repertoire is drawn from Jewish, Persian, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese music. This band is comprised of some of Vancouver’s most active musicians in the world music scene: Moshe Denburg on guitar, Ali Razmi on tar, Jonathan Bernard on percussion, Lan Tung on erhu (Chinese 2-string violin), Bic Hoang on danbau (Vietnamese 1-string zither), Amy Stephen on Celtic harp and accordion, and Russell Sholberg on bass
Lang Tung & Proliferasian – 10-11pm, Performance Centre
(with special guest Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Chih-Sheng Chen)
Proliferasian features Lan Tung’s compositions for improvising musicians. Trained in Chinese and contemporary music, Lan also studied Indian, Flamenco, and Uyghur music and welcomed influences from her cross-cultural collaborations over the past 20 years. Taking culturally specific materials outside their context to inspire the musicians’ journeys in improvisation, Proliferasian explores the contrasting, complementing, and sometimes contradicting natures of many influences. Lan Tung (erhu & vocal) is joined by JP Carter (trumpet), Dave Chokroun (bass), and Kevin Romain (drums), who have contributed immensely to Proliferasian’s cutting edge sound.
May 11 – afternoon
Nicole Li & Corey Hamm – 12-1pm, Performance Centre
Nicole Li began studying the erhu at the age of six, training vigorously when she entered the Wuhan Conservatory at 11. Dr. Corey Hamm is an international performing pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of British Columbia. He is Director of the UBC Contemporary Players. In 2012, Nicole teamed up with Corey Hamm to start a new project ‘Piano Erhu Project’ (PEP). The invitation to Canadian composers to create new works for the duo has had enthusiastic responses.
Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble – 1:20-2:20pm, Exhibition Hall
Formed in 1989, The Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble is the very first professional Chinese music organization established in Canada. They combine technical mastery with a passionate approach, transforming music on Chinese instruments and integrating diverse traditions to bridge cultural frontiers.
Hong Kong Exile (see above)
Orchid Ensemble – 2:40-3:40pm, Performance Centre
Established in 1997, the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble transforms its Chinese roots to create a unique repertoire that breaks down boundaries between musical genres. Taking ingredients from Chinese, Indian, Jewish, and Central Asian music, reconstructing within a contemporary framework, and adding spirited improvisation, the Orchid Ensemble takes its audience on unexpected journeys. With artistic director Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) on the erhu/Chinese violin & vocals, Yuchen Wang (Taiwan/US) on the zheng/Chinese zither, and Jonathan Bernard (Canada) on marimba & percussion, the ensemble creates a distinct new sound.
Xiang Si-hua, Rong Jun, & Qing Chang – 4-5pm, Exhibition Hall
This concert presents three of Vancouver’s leading female musicians from China. Legendary zheng master Xiang Si-hua has a career spanning almost six decades. Although still actively traveling as an educator and adjudicator, this is a rare opportunity to hear her performing live. Erhu virtuoso Rong Jun is performing in a duo with harpist Lani Krantz. Their repertoire includes original works and new arrangements written by Canadian composer Jin Zhang. Qing Chang is a versatile performer on various instruments. Her appearance at the festival will showcase her masterful ability on the sanxian, Chinese 3-string lute, a predecessor of the Japanese shamisen.
May 11 – evening
Lee Pui Ming (Toronto) – 7-8pm, Performance Centre
Pianist/composer Lee Pui Ming returns to Vancouver to share an evening of improvised playing – music of the moment sourced from years of cultivation of musical languages, attention, listening and responding.
BC Chinese Music Ensemble & Nu:BC – 8:40-10:00pm, Performance Centre
This collaboration is the continuation of “Intercultural Innovations”, the BC Chinese Music Ensemble’s (BCCME) production with the Nu:BC Collective in 2010-2011.
Please find additional info, selected video clips and photos, and text in Chinese at http://soundofdragon.com/concerts/