'Music Infinity' crosses boundaries of melody, harmony and composition

The program, initiated by the Shanghai Concert Hall, features original crossover works that mix elements of the East and the West.
Ti Gong

Suona player Hu Chenyun

“Music Infinity,” a program initiated by the Shanghai Concert Hall of crossover works, knows no boundaries.

The series, which will run from March 16 to 30, includes a rock concert featuring a traditional Chinese suona (double-reeded horn) supported by electrosonic equipment, a music and dance theater piece that relives shuiqiang (the tune of water) as a traditional music ritual among ethnic minorities in Hunan Province and a concert by a special trio on piano, violin and saxophone.

All the three concerts of “Music Infinity” this year are original works, according to Fang Jing, general manager of Shanghai Concert Hall.

“It takes courage to innovate. All the artists we present at ‘Music Infinity’ are pioneers exploring more possibilities in stage art without knowing whether they would be accepted in advance,” said Fang. “We admire their courage and confidence, so we provide support.”

Hu Chenyun, chief suona player at the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, will present around 10 original pieces. He uses elements from the Middle East, India, as well as typical Chinese folk tunes, to guide audiences to “hear” the Silk Road through the suona. Predecessors of the instrument will also be used in the concert.

“We will make it a rocky concert, with the suona playing the vocal,” said Hu. “I hope  the audiences will get high with us.”

Shuiqiang is a traditional music genre belonging to the Miao ethnic people in the western part of Hunan. Traditionally, Miao people sing to the river, hoping that the current will carry the music, together with their emotions, to their lovers at the other end of the river.

Peng Zhang, a young choreographer of Miao and Tujia ethnic origin, is determined to recreate the music ritual imprinted from his childhood memory.

“We are living in an age with sufficient materials and choices,” said Peng. “We get information instantly and put it aside randomly. We work hard to realize our dreams, yet often find ourselves unknown when we look in the mirror. The creation of the shuiqiang, for me, is nothing about religion or belief, but an attitude that helps people regain a ritual sense with concentration.”

Instead of a traditional trio of piano, violin and cello, Chinese pianist Jia Ran, Armenian saxophonist Hayrapet Arakelyan and German violinist Daniel Rohn will bring a new vision of chamber music. The three soloists will present their adaptations of masterpieces, such as David DeBoer Canfield’s “Trio nach Brahms,” Stravinsky’s “L histoire du soldat” and Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.”

Performance details

Hu Chenyun’s suona concert

Date: March 16, 7:30pm

Music and dance theater “The Tune of Water”

Date: March 23, 7:30pm

Trio concert

Date: March 30, 7:30pm

Tickets: 80-280 yuan

Tel: 400-891-8182

Venue: Cadillac Shanghai Concert Hall

Address: 523 Yan’an Rd E.

Ti Gong

Shuiqiang is a traditional music genre belonging to the Miao ethnic people in the western part of Hunan Province.

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