Thursday, January 13, 2005

I had an interesting night of music listening at the Chinese Music Festival held in collaboration with Wilfrid Laurier University. There were many instruments with unique, suspenseful, sometimes frightening music. For example, the yang-qin is an instrument that was developed in the 80's by Samuel Hong, one of the performers. The instrument depicted here, the pipa, is held upright in the player's lap. Wong Ching played songs on this instrument with incredibly fast fingerpicking. Unlike the classical guitar which uses a centripedal finger motion, this is centrifugal, using the outsides of the fingers. The rhythum and sound is indescribable for me with my Western ear. Another piece entitled "Nature/Nurture" by Ka Nin Chan was inspired by an experience where the composer randomnly produced melodies by tapping on a computer keyboard. As the nature of events had it, he quite liked the melody. He used it as a spring-board theme and then changed notes here and there throughout the rest of the piece to mold it. That part he attributes to nurturing. It was a pleasure to go to a concert with such talented musicians and creators. As it appears, I will be getting my dose of culture this week as I originally thought I was going to see Douglas Coupland because I had the date mixed up but, alas, that treat has been saved for tomorrow. Posted by Hello


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