Wednesday, November 21 2018


Zen meets piano at HCM City cafe

Update: November, 27/2013 - 09:45

HCM CITY (VNS)— Poet Nguyen Duy and German Frank Gerke will recite Zen poetry composed during the Ly and Tran dynasty eras of 1,000 years ago, and pianist The Hien will accompany them, playing impromptu compositions based on the mood created by the poems at an event in HCM City on Saturday.

"Piano meets Zen", sponsored by the German consulate and organised by Saigon Cultural Circle, will see Duy and Gerke read in Vietnamese and German from the Vietnamese Old Zen Book.

Hien will play impressions and variations in "pianissimo" and "fortissimo" depending on the verse.

The consulate said in a release that the event is targeted at bringing audience to a space of "listening-breathing-culture, the counterpart of noise".

Organisers said they want to create a "quiet event" as a counterpoise to the daily noise.

The event, entry to which will be free, is set to take place at the Evita Bistro Cafe, City Garden Towers, 59 Ngo Tat To Street, behind the zoo.

Gerke, 48, was born in Bremen, and was given the Vietnamese name of Trinh Cong Long by the late songwriter Trinh Cong Son in 1993, a year after he first came to the country.

He now lives in Viet Nam and is a literature researcher and critic and German-Vietnamese translator.

He composes poems in German and Vietnamese, including in the formerly used Han character.

Duy, 65, served as a northern Vietnamese soldier in the American War and later became the southern editor of the literary journal Van Nghe.

In 2005 he edited and published a book of Zen poems on traditional do (poonah) paper written in Han Chinese and with their Vietnamese and English translations.

Hien, 58, is a member of the Viet Nam Music Association.

He started to compose in 1982, and became famous in the 1980s-90s with songs like Nhanh Lan Rung (A branch of wild orchid), Toc Em Duoi Ga (A tuft of hair like chicken tail). —VNS

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