ASEAN ensemble expects deeper traditional music exchanges with China

By Yin Xiuqi China Plus Published: 2017-05-22 09:40:33
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The C asean Consonant ensemble gave a concert with musicians from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the school’s He Lvting Concert Hall on May 15th, 2017. [Photo: provided by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.]

The C asean Consonant ensemble gave a concert with musicians from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the school’s He Lvting Concert Hall on May 15th, 2017. [Photo: provided by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.]

Both economic and cultural cooperation between Southeast Asian nations and China has been expanding and deepening in the seven years after the establishment of the ASEAN-China free trade area. 

Meanwhile, artists and musicians from the 10-member ASEAN nations with their diverse languages and cultures have been exploring ways to find a common identity to carry out cultural exchanges with China. 

The founding of the C asean Consonant ensemble in 2015 was part of their efforts. 

Drawing one music prodigy from each ASEAN country, the traditional music ensemble says it aims to preserve their music heritage while creating an “ASEAN identity amidst cultural diversity”.

Two years after its establishment, the ensemble staged its first performance in China this month. 

Named “Friendship beyond Frontier, the Harmonious Spirit of China-ASEAN,” the concert at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music has seen the ensemble play 13 music pieces created by young composers from the Shanghai school. 

The 13 music pieces were especially composed for the concert and a combination of traditional Southeast Asian and Chinese music elements. 

The ASEAN ensemble’s China visit and the concert were first envisaged by Professor and Composer Ye Guohui from the Shanghai music school during his meeting with the ensemble in Singapore last year. 

The performance at the He Lvting Concert Hall was also part of this year’s Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, which run from April 28th to May 18th. 

Right after the performance, Horizons’ Yin Xiuqi talked to Anant Narkkong, music director of C asean Consonant in an exclusive interview.

Narkkong, who is also an ethnomusicologist from Thailand, told Horizons the stories behind the founding of the ensemble and his expectation of deeper ASEAN-China music exchanges in the future.

[Horizons is a revamped daily features program produced by CRI that gets to the heart of Chinese society, life and economy. To know more about this program, you can download the China Plus App on your mobile phone.]

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