"Autumn Flight" with Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble
~ A multimedia presentation featuring live music, videos and shadow puppetry ~
- Ji Rong Huang (Artistic Director) - erhu (Chinese violin)
- Zhong Xi Wu - suona, sheng, guanzi (Chinese oboe, reed organ)
- Sarah Yusha Tan - guzheng (Chinese zither)
- Ling Yang - pipa (Chinese lute)
- Timothy Stacey - bass
- Bruce Henczel - percussion
- Alan Lau (Composer) - keyboard
- Jaiden - violin
Cross-country geese, city-dwelling pigeons, freedom-loving sea gulls, and family-caring crows the Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Ensemble invites you to explore the city's "ornitho-" or "bird-scape", through a multimedia presentation created by visual artist and musician Alan Lau. Inspired by and dedicated to Chinese seniors residing in Chinatown, the show "Autumn Flight" will be presented at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Sunday, November 16.
The Ensemble will be performing both traditional Chinese music and newly composed pieces, accompanied by mixed footage of birds and shadow puppets, in a light-hearted story of a farm chicken trying to learn how to fly. "It was through this project that I became aware of the vitality and omnipresence of birds even in the city," explained Alan, "I find the comfort zone-pushing chicken to be a metaphor of sorts of us, of our own journeys, and of life."
The project also marks the initial venturing of the Ensemble into community art making, which includes a series of puppet making workshops at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Chinese Culture Centre Museum, and the Chinese Community Library. A main focus of these public workshops is to facilitate intercultural communication through puppet making, especially between Chinese elders and other members of the community. Some of the resulting puppets from these workshops will be featured in the presentation.
Ji Rong Huang (Artistic Director) - erhu (Chinese violin)
A master of the Chinese bowstring instruments, Ji Rong graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a B.A. in performance. As the founder of the Canadian Chinese Music Society and the artistic director of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, he has dedicated himself to bridging western classical and contemporary music into Chinese instruments.
Zhong Xi Wu - suona, sheng, guanzi (Chinese oboe, reed organ)
Wu graduated from the Heilongjiang College of Performing Arts and was subsequently appointed as the lead suona player and composer for the Heilongjiang Repertory Theatre. Wu has performed as a soloist in China, Japan, Hong Kong, U.S.A. and Canada. He has been actively involved in traditional Chinese Opera as well as contemporary theatre and has composed music for experimental theatre productions in New York.
Sarah Yusha Tan - guzheng (Chinese zither)
Sarah began studying the guzheng at the age of 10 and later enrolled in Xinghai Conservatory of Music learning from di erent zheng teachers such as Professor Wang Wei. She obtained numerous prizes in major competitions and played as a guest performer in many renowned Chinese symphonies. In 2004, she joined the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Art Center. After moving to Vancouver in 2008, Sarah joined VCME and performed with BC Chinese Orchestra as a guzheng guest soloist.
Ling Yang - pipa (Chinese lute)
Pipa virtuoso Ling Yang received training from Kan Jin-Tian and Fan Jin-Long, starting at the age of seven. She entered the Xin Hai Conservatory of Music in 1988, graduating with distinction in 1992. Since that time she has concentrated her attention on performance and teaching.
Timothy Stacey - bass
Tim began playing music early on in Trinidad where he played steel pan, cuatro, guitar and bass. After returning to Canada, he studied music at the University of Victoria, York University and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He has played and recorded with numerous orchestral ensembles, musical theatre productions, choirs, jazz groups and solo artists. Tim teaches bass at the Langley Community Music School where he also coaches the LCMS Jazz Ensemble and accompanies the LCMS Fiddlers.
Bruce Henczel - percussion
A multi-instrumentalist, Bruce graduated from Capilano College and received his Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of British Columbia, where he won many awards, notably, the Concerto Competition. He is an active chamber musician and composer. He currently has two solo cds, and is working on a world music Mass.
Alan Lau (Composer) - keyboard
Alan received his first degree in music composition from UBC along with training in visual arts. Also a licensed pharmacist, he currently works at the Downtown Community Health Centre and travels to Fort St. John regularly to practise pharmacy. Interested in bridging the communication gap between Chinatown elders and other DTES residents, he has been involved in numerous community oriented cultural projects. He is currently working on a research project on Chinese qupai music led by ethnomusicologist Dr. Alan Thrasher, with international contributions from China and France.
Jaiden - violin
Seven year old Jaiden has been fascinated with violins and ravens since the age of two. He was introduced to the first by a busker and to the second by a Native storyteller. Thereafter he would fall asleep holding his violin like a teddy bear while listening to his mother read to him about how the mischievous Raven stole the sun. Consequently he is over the moon to have been invited to play a piece entitled Raven. Aside from the violin, Jaiden is also learning how to play the guitar, the electric bass, and the marimba. In the future, he'd like to study the erhu, and he is enthralled by throat singing. And Lego!
The presenters gratefully acknowledge the support of Artvest, Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, Government of British Columbia through Direct Access to Charitable Gaming and Hamber Foundation.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Garden
578 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2
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