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Divo and noted songwriter capture the Red River in new album

Update: June, 04/2018 - 09:00
Collaboration: Divo Tùng Dương (left) and noted veteran songwriter Nguyễn Cường at a press conference about their joint album Tùng Dương Sings Songs by Nguyễn Cường. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A few days ahead of his 10th liveshow, Vietnamese divo Tùng Dương and famous veteran songwriter Nguyễn Cường have introduced their joint production, an album entitled Tùng Dương Sings Songs by Nguyễn Cường.  

The album is the singer’s eighth, while it is the debut recording for the 75-year-old songwriter.

The album features 10 songs by Cường, who is most famous for songs about the Central Highlands region. However, the songs presented in the album were inspired by the Red River Delta region and its rich culture.

The songs Mái Đình Làng Biển (Fishing Village’s Communal House) and Nét Ca Trù Ngày Xuân (The Spring Tunes of Ca Trù) reflect the influence of the region’s folk tunes of ca trù (ceremonial singing), while Bi Ca Trọng Thủy (The Elegy of Trọng Thủy) echoes the tunes of tuồng (classical drama).

“It can be said singers Y Moan and Siu Black – two children of the Central Highlands – are the best to perform my songs about that imposing land. Through their vocals, my ‘offspring’ have been presented to audiences,” he said.

However, for his songs about the North in general and about the Red River Delta region in particular, for years, he couldn’t find anyone who could satisfy him completely until he heard Dương singing his song Hò Biển (Sing Out for Fishing).

“Listen to Dương singing that song, I know that I, finally, have found another ‘true friend’ in music,” the songwriter said.

The song is featured in the album, which took two years to complete.

The songwriter said that the divo is the only one who is able to express fully his song’s spirit.  

“Although other singers sang my songs before, through Dương’s seductive and emotional voice, those songs then become gorgeous. He is the one who can solve any ‘challenge’ in my songs,” Cường said at a press conference about the album in Hà Nội.

“The happiness of any songwriter is to introduce his/her songs to music lovers. And that can only be implemented through the singers,” he added. 

To prove his words, the songwriter said that even though his song “The Spring Tunes of Ca Trù” was composed 38 years ago, only now has it realised its full potential thanks to Dương’s performance.

Although the album Tùng Dương Sings Songs by Nguyễn Cường has been remixed in a rock style, it is different from any other rock music album thanks to the combination of folk tunes in each song.

“In the album, audiences can enjoy a glimpse of different traditional Vietnamese music genres, from ceremonial singing to classical drama, and chèo (traditional opera), but in a completely fresh way as it is remixed in rock style. In addition, the album can take listeners on a journey through different destinations in the North, as every song presents the specific cultural feature of each region that the songwriter has put his footprint on,” divo Dương said at the press conference.

The album will be released officially nationwide on June 5, the day divo Dương will stage his 10th concert. He will perform famous songs by the “Red River Quartet” including composers Nguyễn Cường, Trần Tiến, Dương Thụ and Phó Đức Phương. — VNS

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