Grand old concert hall hosts multimedia show season

Yao Minji
Uniquely fun program embraces technology in presenting a popular concert of Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.
Yao Minji

The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra on Wednesday kicked off the first round of its multimedia concerts in the 91-year-old Shanghai Concert Hall.

The first round will last 23 days, accompanied by a 3D projection mapping show on the historic building's wall.

The eight-minute lighting show "Tale of Light and Music" weaves the elements of architecture, art, music, light and shadow into a five-chapter story of the concert hall and the city's culture.

Shot by Jiang Xiaowei.

"By embracing technology, we hope to help visitors learn more about Shanghai Concert Hall, the city of Shanghai and its culture in a uniquely fun way," said Fang Liang, the hall's general manager.

"We take full advantage of the indoor concert hall and the outdoor green field, so that visitors can enjoy a good concert inside and chill outside as they follow the city's history through architecture, art and music."

It isn't just any show inside, but an upgrade of the most popular concert by Shanghai Chinese Orchestra in recent years. "Traditional Music Rises from the Sea Horizon" has been performed more than 80 times in over 30 cities around the world since it premiered in 2016.

Grand old concert hall hosts multimedia show season
Ti Gong

"Traditional Music Rises from the Sea Horizon" is staged at Shanghai Concert Hall.

"Each piece in the repertoire is an example of the spirit or imagery of Chinese culture," said Luo Xiaoci, orchestra director.

"For instance, the opening piece 'Water' is inspired by the philosophical idea 'the highest excellence is to be like water' and is performed by hang drum and chiba.

"The zither solo 'Ink Drama' embodies the grandeur of Chinese calligraphy, and 'Ode to Alcohol' integrates pipa (Chinese lute) and Peking Opera. We hope that through our music, audiences will not only resonate emotionally, but also be inspired to explore and ponder upon our culture."

The UFO-shaped hang drum is a relatively new instrument created in 2000 in Switzerland. The chiba is a vertical end-blown flute, one of the oldest Chinese woodwind instruments which was played in the royal court of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Grand old concert hall hosts multimedia show season
Ti Gong

Chiba, a vertical end-blown flute and one of the oldest Chinese woodwind instruments, is featured in the concert.

The concert has been upgraded to a multimedia show for the Shanghai Concert Hall. To match the musical theme with the cultural imagery of "water and mountains," the multimedia director Mao Qiaochu set eyes on many masterpieces.

Calligraphy masterworks from various dynasties were arranged to meet the ups and downs of the musical emotion in "Ink Drama," while "Water and Mountains" is played against the backdrop of elements from "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains" by Huang Gongwang (1269-1354), one of the most famous Chinese landscape paintings.

"Music is the absolute protagonist in this concert, and it took a lot of experiments for us to find the best way to integrate the multimedia elements to highlight the protagonist," Mao explained.

"We hope such integration has showcased how Chinese art and aesthetics are both deeply rooted and relevant in a contemporary way."

Grand old concert hall hosts multimedia show season
Ti Gong

The concert has been upgraded to a multimedia show.

Special Reports