Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Songstress Giang Trang, known for singing only melodies by the late Vietnamese composer Trịnh Công Sơn, will tour Japan for her Hạ Huyền 2 (Dark Moon 2) concert next month.
The acoustic concert, Dark Moon 2 – Live in Munakata, will take place in an ancient house in Fukuoka on October 30. The singer, whose melancholy style voice suits Sơn’s blues melodies, will present most of the songs featured on her Dark Moon 2 album. The songs include Gọi tên bốn mùa (Calling the Four Seasons’ Names), Ru em từng ngón xuân nồng (Lulling You), Tôi ơi đừng tuyệt vọng (Don’t Be Desperate) and more.
Songwriters Thanh Phương will accompany her on guitar and Lưu Hà An on piano, along with the 16-string zither artist Vân Mai.
Dark Moon 2 was presented in Paris and Munich in April 2015, right after she released the album to honour the 14th anniversary of the death composer’s death.
Melancholy style: Giang Trang sings a song by Trịnh Công Sơn at a meeting with media in Hà Nội to announce her upcoming Japan tour. – Photo courtesy of organiser
Unlike previous Dark Moon 2 concerts, where most concert-goers were Vietnamese, her audience in the next show will be local Japanese, who don’t understand Vietnamese lyrics. “I’m not the first Vietnamese singer singing Sơn’s music for Japanese audiences. In 1970, for the first time, singer Khánh Ly sang his Diễm Xưa (Old Flame) in Osaka. She then recorded an album featuring eight songs by Sơn in Japanese."
“Music by Trịnh Công Sơn is plain and modest, and it also bears a slight Zen spirit, which seems to fit Japanese culture and the personality of Japanese people. That’s why they can ‘feel’ and ‘absorb’ his music without understanding its lyrics,” Trang said.
A graduate of the Hà Nội Foreign Trade University, Trang came to Sơn’s music by chance, which she calls “accidental predestined affinity”.
“I used to visit a music cafe, which was a one-time popular rendezvous of many young Hanoians. During that time, the cafe offered space for both Sơn’s and The Beatles’ music, so it was only natural for me to start singing his songs. The more I sang, the more familiar and attached I felt to his music,” she said.
Trang introduced her debut album Lênh Đênh Nhớ Phố (Street Nostalgia) in 2012, followed by Hạ Huyền 1 (Dark Moon 1) in 2013 and Hạ Huyền 2 in 2015. – VNS