Sino-American Cultural Tour of “New Silk Road Explorer” Band Debuts in China at CCOM

[Source]    Central Conservatory of Music [Time]    2017-05-09 16:06:10 

At 7:30 p.m. of May 2nd, the “New Silk Road Explorer” band had their first concert at the Opera and Concert Hall of Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM). The band is led by Prof Liu Yuening, who is the first research scholar enrolled in the Fulbright Program. The concert is a dialogue between traditional Chinese music and American folk and jazz music. It is also the first stop of “Understanding China through Music -- Sino-American Cultural Tour of ‘New Silk Road Explorer’ Band” in Beijing, China. About 700 people attended the event, including Wang Jiarui, Vice Chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Wang Zhizhen, Vice Chairman of the 11th CPPCC National Committee, Xia Jianhui, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, Anne Grimes, Counsellor of the Information and Cultural Section of the US Embassy in China, Guo Shulan, Secretary of the Party Committee of CCOM, Zhang Xue, Executive Deputy Secretary of Beijing Municipal Education Committee, Ke Yang, Executive Vice President of Peking University, Pang Huanlei, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of CCOM, Zhou Haihong, Vice President of CCOM, Liu Xijin, President of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society, scholars from Fulbright Program and music circles, and people from all walks of life.

“New Silk Road Explorer” performing “the Harmonic Strings”

With Professor and jazz pianist Liu Yuening, composer and Professor at the Valparaiso University Department of Music Dennis Friesen-Carper as the art directors, “New Silk Road Explorer” band was founded in the US and has brought the cultural sharing event to several US cities. The concert on May 2 was their debut in China, which inaugurated the “Understanding China through Music” Sino-American Cultural Sharing Tour of the “New Silk Road Explorer” Band. It was launched and supervised by the Centre for the Exchange and Experience of Chinese and Foreign Music Cultures & Music Confucius Institute Office of CCOM. Nine concerts and cultural events are scheduled to be held at four music halls and five universities in Beijing, namely Shanghai, Wuhan, Hefei and Qingdao in the coming days. At last, they will finish the tour with a special concert of Chinese theme at Lincoln Centre, where they will be performing works composed or edited after the collection of Chinese folk songs, featuring the fruit of “Understanding China through Music” cultural exchange event. This creates a new pattern for the cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world that involves music performance and composing, people-to-people and cultural exchanges and in-field academic research, and generates results in various forms including documentaries, academic reports, journalistic reports, so as to make it a good example of further integration and mutual stimulation of music and cultures for both countries.

Prof. Liu Yuening of CCOM performing

American folk song Lian Wu winning a round of applause

Small Fairy and Big Fairy performing by the dulcimer artist

The Harmonic Strings and Moon over the Springs had their world premiere at the concert. Besides, seven other songs were performed at the concert, including Lian Wu, Blues version of Kangding Qingge, Small Fairy and Big Fairy, Jazz version of Jasmine Flower, No Title, The Rhythm of Black Bamboo and I Got Rhythm, which allowed the audience to feel the collision of Chinese and western cultures through music. In the speech by Secretary of the Party Committee of CCOM Guo Shulan, she pointed out that, “This concert not only links Chinese and American musical instruments together, but also brings out the harmonious combination of traditional Chinese music and American jazz music. Such innovative works adheres to our principle of cultural exchange, which is to feel different emotions of different cultures through music, and take music as an effective approach to exploring the characteristics of different cultures.”

Prof. Liu Yuening (right) and Dennis Friesen-Carper (left), jazz pianist, composer and professor in the Music department of Valparaiso University sharing musical cultures of China and the US

The Silk Road is a symbol of cultural integration. Dulcimer, as a musical instrument introduced from foreign countries which enjoys over four thousand years of history, stands for the integration of different cultures. At this new stage of China-US cooperation, it is meaningful to take the dialogue between Chinese and American dulcimers and other musical instruments as an example to inspire people to find out the essence of music and help them understand the impetus of cultural exchanges for the development of music.


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