Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Singer Tân Nhàn is giving away 5,000 albums loaded with traditional music for free, and best of all, they are on CDs.
The album Níu Dải Lụa Đào (Holding the Silk Ribbon Tightly) features famous folk genres the chèo (traditional operetta), xẩm (blind baskers’ music), quan họ (love duets) and văn (spiritual singing) genres.
They also include two music videos of văn songs, namely Ngồi Buồn Nhớ Mẹ Ta Xưa (Remembering My Mom) and Cô Đôi Thượng Ngàn (Lady Đôi of Forest Palace).
The CDs will be distributed nationwide for free via the website http://www.tannhan.com/ngoi-sao-nho for anyone interested in traditional music as Nhàn wants to spread the love for traditional music. More free CDs will be offered in case of high demand, Nhàn said during a recent press conference.
“The silk ribbon accompanies áo tứ thân (four-panel traditional costume of Vietnamese women). I named the album this in an attempt to maintain traditional values,” said Nhàn.
Artist Emeritus Đình Cương is famous for chèo. He said helping Nhàn promote traditional music was an honour.
“I was surprised when Nhàn called me and asked to learn to sing chèo songs. A month after the call, she came to my house in the northern province of Thái Bình," said Cương.
“Nhàn expressed her passion and diligence during the studying time. In a short time, she can feel the soul of a song and send emotions to the audience.”
Since 2013, Nhàn has dreamt of releasing an album featuring the original versions of traditional music like chèo and xẩm. However, it’s not easy to perform these kinds of songs. So it took many years for her to learn from artisans to sing in the traditional way. Now she is confident enough to release an album of traditional music.
“Reviving traditional values of music is the trend of the world music,” she said.
“Traditional music helps create identity for the national culture. I hope that when people in the world listen to chèo, xẩm, ca trù (ceremonial singing), nhã nhạc (royal music) and so on, they immediately think of Việt Nam.
“With this project, I want to estimate the audience’s interest in traditional music. If it can attract many people, I believe that more and more artists will invest in traditional music like me, contributing to preserve and promote the traditional art. I think artists have the responsibility for the cultural heritage and for the next generation,” she said.
A year ago, Nhàn made a stir when she released the album Yếm Đào Xuống Phố (Wearing Traditional Costume to Go Downtown), in which she performed chèo mixed with jazz. The album was acclaimed as a combination of contemporary and classical music.
Nhàn admitted she couldn’t do everything she wanted to on the album but has tried her best to promote traditional music. Through her projects, Nhàn wants to inspire other artists and audiences to have passion for the folk arts.
“I will not stop at releasing albums but will continue promoting traditional music in different ways,” she said.
She plans to perform in a concert in February next year featuring traditional music in a combination with symphony orchestra.
Nhàn was born in 1982 in the northern province of Hà Nam. Now she works as lecturer at the Việt Nam National Academy of Music. She won in the category of folk songs at the Morning Star national singing contest in 2005. — VNS