A concert of traditional and symphony music will be held on Friday at the HCM Municipal Opera House. Established composers such as Tran Manh Hung, Nhat Ly, conductor Tran Vuong Thach and Russian conductor Marius Stravinsky will perform at the event.
The concert is a part of a new project launched by Hung that aims to promote traditional music.
Culture Vulture speaks to Hung about the project.
You made an album in 2013, which combined cheo (traditional opera) and jazz music. Now, you have launched a new project combining traditional music and symphonic music genres. What do you expect from the project?
I am lucky because I met composers Ho Nga and Kim Quang, who want to promote traditional music, just like I want to. Both have followed their vision to bring new life to traditional music. We decided to work together on the project.
The project will focus on the three genres of symphony, pop and traditional music to preserve typical characteristics of traditional music, attract more young listeners and win positive feedback from critics.
However, it is not easy to carry out such as project because there is always a gap between the professionals and the audience. As a result, we have to base the project against a background of western symphonic music to highlight the fineness of traditional music.
We will use pop music with modern rhythms to make traditional music more contemporary. Traditional music will be played symphony-style with pop rhythms. This will respect traditional music.
Your album Yem Dao Xuong Pho (Village Damsel Walking down the Street) excited the music scene when you launched it. What is different between the two projects?
Both projects aim to popularise traditional music, but in different ways.
I think the most important thing in mixing different genres is that a composer must to know the genres well. His profound knowledge of music will enable him to produce a mix that could receive contrasting opinions. But no one will doubt his professional knowledge.
When we begin the project, we ask ourselves whether we understand symphonic music and pop music and whether we can combine them with traditional music. We decide to do the project when we know the answer is ‘yes'.
What are the difficulties in bringing traditional music closer to young listeners?
I think our difficulties are over. We have seen economic progress. It's time to focus on cultural development. Earlier, we made pop music only. We studied symphony music of Western countries. Now we need to introduce our culture to the world.
There are many ways of popularising our culture. Our project is one of them. We are not the first composers to do it, but I hope the project will be a new development for folk culture.
What is the aim of the project?
I believe it will be traditional music. We went on field trips to three main cultural hubs of Viet Nam, which are the Central Highlands, the north-western region and the Cham culture in the southern central province of Ninh Thuan.
The areas have the maximum Southeast Asian features of Vietnamese traditional music. I want to develop Vietnamese traditional music further. — VNS