Yellow River Surges with the Amazon River
——Record for the “Yellow River Runs Forth” Global Performance in Brazil

[Source]    Confucius Institute at São Paulo State University, Brazil [Time]    2018-03-10 09:55:48 

The annual Lantern Festival Gala is the “Chinese Carnival” in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil. In the large Ibirapuera Park, tens of thousands of Brazilian citizens appreciated the charm of Chinese culture with enthusiasm, and the 2018 “Lantern Festival Gala for the Year of the Dog” held by the Confucius Institute at São Paulo State University, ignited the passion of tens of thousands of viewers.

Su Yang, China’s famous contemporary folk rock artist from Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region went on the stage with the “Yellow River Runs Forth”. With the music “Pearl Roll Shutter” as the opening song, the audience began to cheer crazily. On the large and tall stage background, the mysterious cave paintings of the Sun God in Helan Mountains flashed back. There was a gorgeous acoustic guitar, a sturdy local drum of Northwest China, a rhythm electric guitar with distorted effect, a sonorous drum kit, and several voices of songs with the flavor of northwest China. All the other songs including “The River Flows South and Black Mule” derived from the tradition and the folk characteristics. Ballads from the foot of Helan Mountains and the shore of the Yellow River were performed in the dialect of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which are in praise of the earth beneath and expressing the unique feelings about the ordinary life in hometown. Learning from the rhythm of rock and accompanied by the language and melody of ballads, contemporary music was grafted onto several kinds of traditional folk art including Shanxi opera and Huaer folk song in Northwest China, creating a brand-new musical language. The strong “Chinese style”, composed historical memories was embodied in the themes, lyrics, tunes and melodies.

“Yellow River Runs Forth” performed in Brazil

Su Yang’s performance

It can be said that Brazilians, who love singing and dancing by nature cannot be easily “fooled”. The element of rock added by Su Yang into Chinese traditional music, as well as the multimedia effect on the stage with a strong visual impact created the emotional resonance of the distant Yellow River and contemporary Brazilian people. Holding hands high, the audience swayed amid the music “Yellow River Runs Forth” during the performance lasting for more than an hour. From Su Yang’s songs, one can feel the essence in Northwest China, watching them work, live and pursue love. Then from the songs, you would feel the deep attachment of people far from their homes to the sand and dust there.

Secretary of Culture of São Paulo watching Su Yang’s performance

The venue

A fanatical audience said that Su Yang’s performance changed his wrong attitude that the Chinese people are very conservative. He began to like the folk rock of the Chinese style and hoped to listen to more Chinese music in the future.

In Brazil, many foreign media outlets covered the event. According to Jornalismo TV Cultura, a Brazilian channel of culture and news, China is a prosperous country. The Brazilian people have always been curious about Chinese culture and respect its spread in Brazil. This performance, very successfully hosted without doubt, enhances the cultural and artistic exchanges between China and Brazil.

Su Yang felt very touched while watching the audience with the same frequency resonance. He said: “What I have always pursued is that music can transcend ethnicity and geography to create empathy anywhere on the earth. The stage is a place to show sincerity which touches people the most. As the audience feels my sincerity, they like my music.”

Su Yang and his band

Professor Luis Antonio Paulino, Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute said that when deciding to invite the “Yellow River Runs Forth”, he was impressed by the poetic flavor of the ballads in lyrics. The profound affections of the “son of the earth” in the Yellow River of China were integrated into the lyrics and music created by the artists, which was believed to touch everyone in the world. The recent excellent cultural projects organized by the Confucius Institute, such as film festivals and concerts, have been working for the exchanges and mutual learning of traditional and contemporary cultures.

Su Yang and the staff at the Confucius Institute

After the performance, the Confucius Institute considered to introduce the ballad texts into the Chinese language learning in classrooms. The advanced oral class opened in the Confucius Institute covered a wide range of content in such fields as Chinese philosophy, ethnic groups, society, and history, which are quite popular with students.

This time, the 2018 “Yellow River Runs Forth” Global Performance was first held in Brazil, enabling the water of the Yellow River to flow through South America. As the saying goes that the unique features of a local environment always give special characteristics to its inhabitants, what the Yellow River means to the Chinese people is just like the Amazon River to Brazilians. Hence, the common emotions allow the Chinese folk music to greatly strike a chord in Brazil. Going across the border, music flows freely to a broader land in the world with the wishes of the good people for a better life. The highlights of this performance will appear in China’s first music recording movie The Yellow River Runs Forth. The music shows of the “Yellow River Runs Forth” organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Pernambuco, Brazil and the Confucius Institute at the Federal University of Rio Grand Do Sul are in progress.

(Story by Huang Muqianzi, the Confucius Institute at São Paulo State University)


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