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From Shanghai with Guzheng

July 25, 2011 - Travel Wire Asia

Medan, Indonesia

Three lute master from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan (center), He Xiao Dong (right) and He Xiao Tong, plays Chun Zi Hai or Spring Sea. Japanese traditional song from 1935 which tells about the spring. The song was created by Michio Kiyagi. Pic: Chalid Nasution

Three lute master from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan (center), He Xiao Dong (right) and He Xiao Tong, plays Chun Zi Hai or Spring Sea; Japanese traditional song from 1935 which tells about the spring. The song was created by Michio Kiyagi. Pic: Chalid Nasution

The music is graceful with the mystical melody,  sounds from the stringed lutes in Medan Gloria’s theater on Sunday July 24, 2011 – starting from a melancholy tone to the passage of fast tempo played by lute masters from Shanghai collaborated with Indonesian Master, Ngartini Huang.

The concert titled “Guzheng Music” played on the tones and strains of traditional Chinese songs,  as also some traditional Japanese music and songs from the Batak tribe. Master of lute music from Shanghai, Professor Sun Wen Yan, said after the concert that Guzheng, traditional music which has been inherited for generations in China and comes from the word Gu and Zheng, means past and music. Guzheng is  identical with the lute and the lute is a Chinese identity.

In addition to Professor Sun Wen Yen, there were also present two other lute masters, from Shanghai – He Xiao Tong and He Xiao Dong, both children of Professor Sun Wen Yen. At the concert, 15 songs were performed, but all the songs used only one vowel and the rest was simply a blend of lute and piano. Due to the lack of collaboration, the concert sounded monotone and brought on drowsiness. This was perhaps because the packaging of this concert was similar to a concerts in classical music  dominated by an audience of 40 years and over.

Ngartini Huang, Principal of Jade Music School said that the concert was an Indonesia-China cultural exchange and has been held several times in  Indonesia. Ngartini Huang featured in the closing of the concert with He Xiao Dong Tong and He Xiao Dong performing a rendition of Zhan Tai Feng or Battling Against Typhoon.

In the finale, the song Battling Against Typhoon was able to create a climax for the third player plucking lute action with a high speed and harmony that seemed mystical. Naturally, this song has a fast tempo for the story behind this song is about the past struggle of workers at the Port of Shanghai.

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