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2016 Festival Press Release

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2nd Sound of Dragon Music Festival

Features Innovative Local Music Artists and Guests from Taiwan

April 21-24, at the Western Front and Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

After the successful premiere in 2014, the bi-annual Sound of Dragon Music Festival will feature some of the most creative music crafted through the collaboration of Vancouver’s Chinese music community, local music scene innovators, and special guests from Taiwan. The Festival celebrates diverse music with Chinese roots or influences, from traditional, classical, contemporary, jazz, world, fusion, to experimental music. Sound of the Dragon includes food, movies, free events and an art exhibition at the Roundhouse.

Sound of Dragon’s 2016 program is all about collaboration and fusion! Founding partner Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) will open the festival with a program of Canadian compositions, featuring soloists on Asian instruments under the baton of guest conductor Chih Sheng Chen from Taiwan. They are followed by Borealis String Quartets energetic performance of compositions by Asian composers on the western strings. Winner of Taiwan’s “Golden Indie Music Award” for Best Jazz Album and “Golden Melody Award for Traditional Arts” (equivalent to the Grammy) for Best Crossover Album, Ka Dao Yin’s debut Canadian appearance showcases a unique instrumentation of sheng (Chinese mouth organ), zheng (Chinese zither), piano and saxophone. Headed by pipa player Qiu Xia He and guitarist Andre Thibault, Vancouver’s famous Silk Road Music will add two splendid ingredients – Liam MacDonald’s striking Brazilian tambourine and Ron Hadley’s pounding jazz piano.

Orchid Ensembles collaboration with Kasandra “La China”  marries Chinese music with flamenco dance. Paul Plimley (Vancouver) and Shih Yang Lee (Taiwan), two of the most adventurous pianists from the west and the east, will improvise together with Vancouver erhu player Lan Tung and Taiwanese visual artist Li Tung. The all-star Sound of Dragon Ensemble has gathered some of Vancouver’s most accomplished instrumentalists on Chinese and western instruments to perform works received from Taiwan, China, UK, the US, and across Canada through a recent call for scores.SOD Ensemble individuals

In terms of traditional music, Hoi Seng Ieong’s Yueyun Elite represents the long tradition of Cantonese music in Vancouver. Ka Dao Yins members Shao Huan Hung and Chun Te Liu, and the three soloists from Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, Dailin Hsieh (zheng), Ling Husan Shen (sheng) and Ying Chun Chen (pipa), will perform the classics solo repertoire, as well as collaborate with Vancouver’s Chinese music, contemporary music, and improvised music communities. Di Zhang, from Toronto, will give a solo recital of the yangqin, a chromatic Chinese dulcimer of over 200 strings.

The festival also offers a concert of Asian choral music. Established by Cecilia Chueh, Egret Choirs will perform well-known Taiwanese folk songs under the leadership of conductor Peggy Hua. Led by music director and conductor Tyler Xu, Vancouver Oriental Philharmonic Choir will perform a collection of Chinese folk songs.

Sound of Dragon, the NOW Society, and the Western Front come together to present light shadow fire, a concert of improvised music on April 21 at 8pm at the Western Front. Vancouver musicians Lisa Cay Miller (piano), Lan Tung (erhu & vocal), Ron Samworth (guitar), and Clyde Reed (bass), Taiwanese pianist Shih Yang Lee, German saxophone player Klaus Bru, and Taiwanese artist Li Tung will perform together for the first time, exploring lights, shadow, and colours, crossing genres and disciplines.

Sound of Dragon Music Festival is Vancouver’s first festival devoted to Chinese Music, showcasing very diverse musical styles. While presenting authentic traditional music, the festival promotes creativity and innovation in imaginative new ensembles and projects, utilizing unusual cross-cultural instrumentations. By presenting musicians, ensembles and composers from different ethnicities, nationalities, and musical genres, Sound of Dragon re-defines “Chinese music” and reflects Vancouver’s growing multicultural environment, representing a highly creative music scene.

April 21, 8pm-10pm Western Front
April 22, 7pm-10pm Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre  
April 23, 12:30pm-10pm Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
April 24, 12:30pm-10pm Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Free Events:
April 17, 1 – 2:40pm  Fusica: musical instruments demonstration at Richmond Public Library
April 23 – 24, 12:30 – 1pm   Zhongxi Wu and Alan Walters will perform a duo of suona (Chinese reed) and Scottish bagpipe at the courtyard of the Roundhouse
April 23, 5 – 7pm   The dramatic feature, Ripples of Desire at the Roundhouse.

Set on an island populated by pirates and lepers off the shores of the 17th century Taiwan, Ripples of Desire is a tale of talented but doomed sisters in the “House of Flowers”. The sisters perform Nanguang music and dance in this poetic film by director Chou Zero, featuring music composed by Chen Mingchang. 

Food Fair: Taiwan Cafe (Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society) – Food will be available for purchase on site. Dinner served from 5 – 7 pm for the screening of Ripples of Desire.

Arts Gallery:
A unique aspect of this year’s festival is to host the residency of Taiwanese artist Li Tung, who will paint from the side of the stage throughout the festival. His works may be abstract visualization of the music, live sketches of the musicians, or colours and shapes inspired by the music.

Tickets available at
half day (afternoon or evening): 25 regular, $20 students/seniors/children
full day (Saturday or Sunday): $40 regular, $30 students/seniors/children
festival pass (Friday to Sunday): $70 regular, $50 students/seniors/children
April 21 tickets at (not included in the festival pass) 

Media Contact: Helen Yagi or (604) 736-5517