Viet Nam International Finger-Style Guitar Festival 2015 will be held for the first time in Ha Noi on Friday. The event has been co-held by Viet Nam Fingerstyle Guitar Organisation (VFGO) and Taiwanese Wind Strings Entertainment.
Culture Vulture interviews with Do Duong Tung about his organisation and fingerstyle guitar development in Viet Nam.
Why do you like fingerstyle guitar?
I'm not a professional guitarist. I didn't study guitar in a music college but I fell in love music in 2005. At that time, I was a 11th grade student and I was keen on rap. I followed rap music until I graduated environment technology at Phuong Dong College.
One of my friend show me a music clip entitled Sunflower by Chinese Paddy Sun – one of six international guitarists to perform at the Viet Nam International Finger-Style Guitar Festival 2015 in Ha Noi. I was charmed with the melody and the artist's playing skills. His skill is unbelievable. It's amazing. It is an impression to people who watch fingerstyle guitar for the first time.
It inspires me to playing with my father's 20-year old semi-classic guitar. However, it is not suitable for fingerstyle guitar. I didn't know to play guitar at that time.
Could you introduce about the VFGO as you are its founder?
I learned to play music piece Sunflower by myself I posted and shared a clip showing how I learn to play fingerstyle guitar on Internet to other people. I set up Sunflower Fingerstyle Guitar Club and created a front-page Sunflower Club on Facebook.
After one year of establishment in Ha Noi, five other Sunflower Clubs have been set up in nation-wide, two clubs in Ha Noi, three others in HCM City, Da Nang and Vinh City.
The VFGO was set up in 2013 from these clubs with over 9,000 members. It is a non-profit organisation aiming at exchanging and sharing among the club's members.
The VFGO's oldest member is Canadian Caroline Boisvert. She is a teacher and is living in Ha Noi. She was a contestant at Viet Nam's Got Talent last year.
The youngest member was born in 1999. He was awarded at the first Viet Nam Percussive Fingerstyle Guitar Contest in 2013.
What has the VFGO done since it's establishment?
The VFGO has been become a destination for fingerstyle guitarists. We have organised a series of liveshows and workshops. The first Viet Nam Percussive Fingerstyle Guitar Contest was held in December, 2013, to mark the VFGO establishment.
We invited Chinese Paddy Sun to become an on-line juror for an award that entitled his name – Paddy Sun Award. The contest was also granted by South Korean artist Shungha Jung to award another prize.
A concert Shungha Jung Liveshow in Viet Nam was also by the VFGO in April.
Has the VFGO co-operated with other fingerstyle guitar organisations in the world?
At the end of 2013, I was called by Japanese guitarist Yuki Matsui's manager. He offered the VFGO to organise a tour by Yuki Matsui in Viet Nam and guitarist Yuki Matsui would be among jurors at the Viet Nam contest.
But we didn't have favourable conditions for the co-operation because the VFGO was newly established.
Wind String Entertainment knew about the VFGO through Facebook last July. We have exchanged and discussed about fingerstyle guitar in Viet Nam and in the world.
We had first co-operation to hold the concert Shungha Jung Liveshow in Ha Noi and HCM City last April. The international fingerstyle guitar festival in Viet Nam this time is the second co-operation between the VFGO and Wind String Entertainment.
What will you do to make fingerstyle guitar popular in Viet Nam?
Fingerstyle guitar is the newest genre of solo guitar music in Viet Nam. It has thriven in recent years. Only one performer can replace an entire band. The most unique and captivating aspect of this genre is how the performer can simultaneously play the melody and the percussion by using skilful techniques of hitting the body of the guitar to breathe life into his songs.
Previously, the VFGO just aims to build and develop fingerstyle guitar in students. Now, I have to widen audiences network to many others like art lovers and office staff.
At present, we don't have money to run the VFGO. I'm working free at the VFGO but I want the VFGO to have a stable income with a view to operating the VFGO more effectively. — VNS