Viet Nam News
The second International Fingerstyle Guitar Festival was held in Hà Nội and HCM City last week, attracting both Vietnamese and foreign audiences to the performances.
The festival was jointly held by Wind Strings Entertainment and Vietnam Fingerstyle Guitar Organisation (VNFS) for the second time.
Culture Vulture speaks to guitarist Huang Chia Wei from CHinese Taiwan, founder of festivals involving fingerstyle guitars, including the Việt Nam festival.
What’s your impression of the festival held last week in Hà Nội and HCM City?
I think the Vietnamese people are very artistic and have great interest and appreciation of the arts. More and more young people attend the festival every year, which is what keeps bringing us back to conduct more shows.
Which performance did you like the most at the festival?
Personally, I liked all the performances because people of different nationalities showcase their own styles and express their musical culture in their own way.
They all have their individual uniqueness and that is what makes the festival interesting.
Could you tell more about fingerstyle guitar and the development of its genre?
Fingerstyle guitar is actually a style rather than a genre. What it means is that the players use their fingers to pluck the strings, instead of using picks to strum the guitar.
Fingerstyle allows player to play bass, percussion, melody and rhythm all at the same time, which would normally be played by several band members. Fingerstyle guitar players constantly try to innovate their playing style. More and more techniques and styles are introduced, which is one reason for the rapid growth of fingerstyle guitar playing.
Artists such as Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel, Kotaro Oshio and Sungha Jung were among the main driving forces promoting fingerstyle guitars. Thanks to Youtube, fans and guitar enthusiasts can learn, watch and even interact with them.
Could you tell more about your partner, Vietnam Fingerstyle Guitar Organisation, jointly organised the festival ?
We are happy that they could be a part of this festival. They are aware that more co-operation is needed to ensure that the fingerstyle guitar culture spreads across Việt Nam.
The festival also serves as an educative experience for fans because the artists are also teachers who show them or students how a song is played in the concert.
What standards are required for a fingerstyle guitarist to be able to perform at an international festival?
There are no specific standards. It is rather what you can create and how you express your creativity.
Could you tell us about the International Fingerstyle Guitar Festival and Wind Strings Entertainment as well?
Wind Strings Entertainment is an event-based company from Taiwan that specialises in organising fingerstyle guitar concerts. They are the main organisers of the International Fingerstyle Guitar Festival (IFSGF).
With the support of our main sponsor from Naga Guitars and Singa Guitars, the festival has been organised throughout Asia since 2010, such as in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and mainland China, besides Việt Nam, Malaysia and Singapore.
Will your company co-operate with your Vietnamese partner to promote fingerstyle guitars in Việt Nam?
Yes. In fact, this is our second Vietnam International Fingerstyle Guitar Festival in which we have been co-operating with the VNFS. We hope to co-operate again in organising the festival in Việt Nam next year, with more partners to continue the dream. — VNS