Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A new CD of sung poems has just been released by a popular couple in Vietnamese literary circles.
Tiếng Rao (Hawkers’s Cry) is a compilation of six poems by mathematician Đinh Hoàng Anh, sung by her husband, painter Thái Tĩnh.
The poems were chosen from Anh’s published and unpublished collections. The CD is the couple’s first published work after performing poems on tour throughout the country earlier this year.
“A song has its music outline,” Anh said, “Many composers compose music for poems. But they often have to change the poems a little bit to make them fit their music outline.”
“Sung poems are different. Poems take the leading part. The singer should sing the music inside the poems.”
In the past, there have been many ways of singing poetry, including ca trù (chamber music), hát xẩm (singing by blind beggars), poem reciting and singing lullabies.
But those ways of performing poetry are most suitable for poems written in old forms with classical language and thoughts.
Anh has written many four-line poems in six-eight-word-distich metre, as well as poems with four-, five-, six- and eight-word lines and freestyle poems.
“My language and topics do not follow old thoughts. So my poems are not always suitable for reciting,” she said.
Anh learned to play piano at a young age, so her poems contain musical notes. Her husband Tĩnh sings well and enjoys singing her poems.
The sung poems on the CD are accompanied by piano, saxophone, violin and guitar music. Musicians cotributing to the CD include pianist Tuấn Nam and guitarist Hữu Hiệp.
“I have met many people who love poetry. Many of them like my poems and the way my husband sings my poems. We made this CD for them and for us,” Anh said.
The CD is the first in a series. Many of Anh’s poems are scheduled to be recorded as sung by Tĩnh. She has also composed some songs that will be released soon.
Anh earned her PhD in natural science in Minsk, Belarus. But she quit working in the natural science field many years ago.
She has published eight poetry collections and two collections of short stories.
Painter Thái Tĩnh studied at Huế Fine Arts University. He has hosted three solo exhibitions and a group exhibition in Việt Nam. — VNS