Composer Lương Huệ Trinh is currently working in Ghana. Photo Facebook of Luong Hue Trinh
Multimedia composer Lương Huệ Trinh is currently working in Ghana. Last Saturday she held an online concert with Vietnamese, French and German artists. The concert was streamed live on the page of Goethe Institute in Hà Nội.
Thể Thao Văn Hóa (Culture & Sports) daily's reporter Lam Anh chats with her about the role of female musicians in experimental music.
Your online concert last Saturday featured female artists from different countries. How did you come up with the idea for the concert?
It followed my concerts in Hamburg in 2018 and in Hà Nội in 2019. In Hà Nội's concert Vệt (Streak), I showed my thoughts and my observations about the role of Vietnamese women in the family and in society.
Last Saturday's online concert is also part of my research on the theme of the partipication of western women.
I realise that there are always women who transcend limits to freely express themselves and their creativities.
I am really happy to invite four talented artists to perform at the concert. They are very experienced and active in experimental music. Plus, they are interested in Vietnamese culture and people.
At the moment, online performance is a solution for us when we want to collaborate across borders. But it is also a challenge because the technical requirements and the internet connection are always unstable. Fortunately, we finally found a solution to prepare well for the concert.
From Goethe Institute in Hà Nội, Vietnamese đàn bầu (monochord) artists perform in an online concert conducted by Lương Huệ Trinh.
In your research, what do women on different continents have in common?
There are many differences and also common points between Vietnamese and western women. For example, gender equality has been a topic of great interest.
Gender discrimination in social relations, in the family, in employment opportunities and also sexual abuse, these things happen everywhere in the world.
I use music, the medium in which I feel most confident and comfortable, to express my observations and thoughts.
Are you happy with your choice of working with experimental music? Did you pay a heavy price for it?
It is certainly not easy to achieve something truly meaningful in life. I consider it an effort. I had to work very hard for today small successes.
I had two big challenges to pursue my path. I had to pass Việt Nam Academy of Music's entrance examination twice to convince my parents because they did not want me to study music.
Secondly, my teacher let me wait for him for one year to try my patience.
Have you tried to continue your efforts in music by living in Africa?
Getting experience from my trips does not only enrich the material for my work but it also helps me have a more objective view of Việt Nam.
I have been living to experience African culture and society. I think that these typical characteristics are among the factors to make an artwork have a distinctive quality.
On the other hand, an artist always needs to be creative. She or he can't keep repeating. Therefore, if I don't move and just stay in the same place, sooner or later I will repeat myself. Obviously, this will make my work boring.
Why did you choose Africa? What does Ghana have to attract you?
I think that Ghana or Africa, in general, is an attractive place for many people, not just me. I have been invited to perform in many countries thanks to music projects but never in Africa.
I'm very interested and curious about Africa. Africa has many mysteries including the traditional festivals of different ethnic groups. Their cultural life is strong and rich especially in music and dancing. They dance, play music and sing very instinctively.
Not only that, but nature is also a strong attraction to me. The people are simple and friendly. I feel happy and relaxed here.
Many artists choose to live alone devoting all their time to art. What about you?
I respect artists who are willing to sacrifice their personal lives to pursue their careers. I'm still travelling and I am satisfied with my current life.
Although I love my work, I want to balance my personal life and career as much as possible. Of course, this is not easy to do but when people really want to they will find the right way.
What is your plan for the near future?
It is difficult to plan because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I hope that next year I can return to Việt Nam to visit my home and I will have some shows. VNS