Viet Nam News
Composer Ngô Hồng Quang is known for his projects that combine Vietnamese traditional music and western one. He is doing a masters course in music composition at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Quang will perform a contemporary dance entitled Nón (Conical Hat) with choreographer Vũ Ngọc Khải in Hà Nội on July 21. The show will also be held in HCM City on July 26 and 27.
He is also carrying out a new project with musician Nguyên Lê.
Quang spoke about Nón and his new project.
What makes you confident to participate in a dance programme?
I met choreographer Ngọc Khải at an art show entitled Duyên Dáng Việt Nam (Charming Việt Nam) in HCM City in 2014. We talked and shared many things about our careers. And Nón was born. It was premiered in HCM City in 2015.
I’m very happy because we will perform Nón in Hà Nội this time.
What’s new in Nón for the Hà Nội show?
The year 2016’s Nón will be a skillful combination of Khải’s contemporary movements and my acoustic music. I will play traditional instruments, including đàn tính (gourd lute), đàn môi (Jew’s harp) and đàn bầu (monochord).
I will sing a complete song at the performance. I sang at the previous show too, but it was an extract. I finished the song after a year. It represents various melodies and colours of nature.
Dances by Khải will include his improvisations.
What is the Hanoi Duo project in which you and musician Nguyên Lê are collaborating?
I met Nguyên Lê when we performed together in Toulouse, France. I was a guest playing with his trio Saiyuki. My performance made impression on him and he sometimes invites me to perform with his trio or just himself.
Thanks to the several times we have performed together, I can see that my music style suits Nguyên Lê’s fusion style. Hence, the Hanoi Duo project.
The project will provide a wide and diverse panorama of Vietnamese music, from its roots to the future. I like the idea because it focuses on creativity based on Vietnamese folk music. In addition, I will play both traditional and new pieces on Vietnamese instruments in combination with electronic music.
We have finished our recordings. Hanoi Duo is expected to be released in this autumn in Europe.
Do you have your own project?
I’m very busy this year. I’m working on a quan họ folk music album in the Netherlands. It will be launched in Việt Nam.
What are the opportunities and challenges you are facing in the Netherlands and other European countries?
I’m enjoying life because it gives both challenges and opportunities for me to build my music career. I am grateful for the scholarship to study in the Netherlands. It has changed my thoughts about music completely.
I’m studying music composition mainly in relation to western instruments. But I also write music for a small orchestra with Vietnamese instruments. I like it because it is related to Vietnamese music.
Over the past two years, I have been studying to compose a music piece and how to access new things in music.
One of the most important benefits I have had is that I get to meet many talented artists in Europe and opportunities to learn from them.
In the initial days, I was worried about facing new situations such as the chilly winter, unfamiliar food and culture shock.
However, these challenges help me to become stronger and gain life experience to overcome difficulties. — VNS