Feast your ears on the musical classics of the east with MUSIC TALKS, the Middle Kingdom’s mashup of classical music and in-depth discussions with some of China’s most celebrated orchestral professionals. Experience the instruments, get some perspective, feel the pulse of antiquity.
Happy Lantern Festival
On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, when the moon is at its fullest, the Chinese New Year holiday comes to its climax with the Lantern Festival. This year, the festival falls on February 26th.
So how is this day celebrated and what does this day have to do with lanterns? All in today's Music Talks. Let’s take this time to check out some tunes themed on this special time of the year.
Konghou: The harp's distant relative in the East
Previously, we have introduced the konghou, which resembles the harp in appearance and tonality. Many say its sound is melodic, elegant and heavenly.
In this episode, our host Tony Reid talked with He Xie, a young and talented konghou instrumentalist and composer.
We will give you some insight into the latest model of the instrument, referred as the double-strung pedal konghou, which is widely played on stage in Chinese ensembles. In addition, we will share with you a lot of fun and inspiring stories behind Mr He’s compositions.
Joyous tunes to ring in the Chinese New Year
The Chinese Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the largest festival in China, which celebrates the coming of a new year. A lot of traditional customs prevail during the holiday to boost the festive atmosphere and to wish everyone the best of luck.
On this special edition, we invited seven renowned instrumentalists and composers on our show to share with us the unique customs carried out during this period of time and to spread festive vibes by introducing notable songs that reflect those conventions.
Sing! Chengdu (2)
Mr Huang Tianxin(黄天信) is a composer and singer, and Mrs Deng Kun-Rong(邓堃蓉), a lyricist. In recent years, they have become famous for writing and singing songs about their beloved hometown, Chengdu. Previously, we enjoyed some of their songs and had them talk about how they were inspired. Many of their songs, composed with the local musical elements, were even sung in the Sichuan dialect, giving their pieces distinction. Today, let's continue to learn more about this majestic place via their songs.
1. BGM: Splendid Chengdu 锦绣成都
2. Dustless 无尘
3. Gazing at the Mountain 观山
4. Waiting for You on the Snowy Mountain 落雪千山等归人
5. The Sound of Bamboo 听竹
6. Yang Xiong Song 说扬雄
Sing! Chengdu (1)
Today we have composer and singer Mr. Huang Tianxin(黄天信), and lyricist Mrs. Deng Kun-Rong(邓堃蓉). They have become popular in recent years for writing and singing songs about their beloved hometown, Chengdu. Many of their songs are sung in the Sichuan dialect, a very expressive and spicy form of Mandarin. "Though it’s not spoken as much by the younger generation, we always tell our students that we should preserve our culture and not forget our dialect." They say.
For those unfamiliar with Chengdu, it is the capital city of China's southwest Sichuan province. Entitled as the land of abundance, Chengdu has a history of 4,500 years of urban civilization. The world's first paper note, called Jiaozi, was created there. Chengdu is also well known for its embroidery, giant pandas, and the delicious Sichuan cuisine.
1. BGM: A Chengdu Tune 成都曲
2. Splendid Chengdu 锦绣成都
3. A Chengdu Tune 成都曲
4. Singing of the Cotton Rose City 锦城芙蓉吟
5. Wuhou Song 武侯曲
6. Qingcheng Inhabitants 青城客
A Touch of Jazz (2)
Mr Kong Hongwei is the leading and most prestigious jazz pianist and composer in China. Nicknamed as "Golden Buddha', Kong’s musical pieces, naturally combine Chinese folk elements with modern Jazz, vividly depicting everyday life. Previously, Mr. Kong spoke on his journey in music and we heard some representative songs selected from his most notable album “The Summer Palace", which unfolds his impression of Beijing. Today, let’s enjoy some pieces that beautifully portray nature via folk instruments and modern Jazz.