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Ethnic orchestra to debut in Hanoi

Last update: 11:38 | 07/12/2017

A concert featuring ethnic minority music will be held to introduce Seaphony Orchestra - the first Vietnamese ethnic minority orchestra at Hanoi Opera House on December 12.


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Seaphony Orchestra rehearse 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 Vietnam. The artists will perform instruments such as the jaw harp, leaf flute, dan tinh, dan goong, gongs, Baranung drum, Gineng drum and dan do and folksongs from Tay, Thai, Dao, H’Mong, Lao, M’Nong, Ede, Ja Rai, Se Dang and Cham ethnic groups.

The concert and Seaphony Orchestra is under the S.E.A Sound project which was initiated by Nguyen Nhat Ly and produced by Lune Production aiming to create a Southeast Asian musical platform where ethnic minority music lovers gather to compose and perform.

Ly and other musicians of the project including jew harp artist Nguyen Duc Minh and traditional musician Nguyen Manh Tien, who is working at the Thang Long Singing, Dancing and Music Theatre’s Traditional Ensemble have travelled to northern provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Lang Son, Dien Bien, Yen Bai and Ha Giang and villages across Vietnam.

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 Ly. "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, Lo Van La is the oldest artist of Seaphony Orchestra. He performs khen be, an important instrument for Thai people. The orchestra consists of woodwinds, percussion and string instruments.

The woodwinds include jaw harp, leaf flute, dinh tak ta 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 dinh tak ta flute is played with a nostril.

"Seaphony is not only how we gather the artists from diverse regions of Vietnam," 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 Vietnam 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 Cham Ethnic Music were held in Hanoi 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 Hanoi Opera House.-VNA

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