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Sound of Dragon Ensemble Spring 2017 Concert – CONSENSUS   中文版

Thursday March 9, 2017 – 8:00pm, Orpheum Annex, Vancouver

Tickets: $15 regular, $10 students/seniors/children, BUY TICKETS

Dong Mei blue photoThe Sound of Dragon Ensemble brings together some of the most skillful musicians from the east and west to create new inter-cultural music featuring a unique combination of instruments. The Ensemble includes bowed strings, with Lan Tung and Nicole Li on erhu/Chinese violin and Marina Hasselberg on cello; plucked strings, with Zhimin Yu on the ruan/Chinese lute and Itamar Erez on guitar; winds, with Charlie Lui on the dizi/Chinese flute and Roderick Seed on the flute, and; the multi-talented Jonathan Bernard on percussion instruments from around the world. 

The Sound of Dragon Ensemble is a creative platform for musicians and composers sharing similar interests in contemporary cross-cultural music to collaborate. On March 9, they come together to present original works by Vancouver composers John Oliver, Mark Armanini, Itamar Erez, Farshid Samandari, Bruce Bai, and Lan Tung, Toronto composer Tony Leung, and Italian composer Marco Bidin. The Ensemble will also collaborate with Vancouver conductor Jin Zhang and dancer Dong Mei for the first time.

John Oliver’s Consensus is a metaphor for inter-cultural music making. It is now a global phenomenon for musicians from different backgrounds who want to collaborate with other, similarly inspired, artists. Regardless of where they’re from, there is one thing most can agree on: music was born of about four or five notes in all cultures. This idea inspired Oliver to build his piece on four notes with ever-changing rhythms between different instruments to create great complexity.

The Ensemble presents the world premiere of two works inspired by poetry: Mark Armanini’s music is set to two ancient Chinese poems by Wong Wei (approx. 692-761 AD). Through the depiction of a beautiful landscape, Wong’s text expresses the desire to be away from the hustle of the daily life and the strong influence of Buddhism. Armanini, a Buddhist himself, has found Chinese instruments to be the most expressive vehicle for him for nearly three decades. Marco Bidin’s Hymn to Aphrodite is inspired by the ancient poem of Greek poet Sappho (approx. c. 630– c.570 BC), best known for her love poems. Bindi uses Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, as a symbol to reflect the passion in Sappho’s writings.

Itamar Erez’s Rikkud is a kind of a chaotic, ecstatic dance, with some moments of relief until the very exhausting end. Bruce Bai’s Fall, a world premiere, depicts a scene all Vancouverites are familiar with: when the autumn comes all the lush greens are destined to fade away, yet new leaves will grow on the same trees next spring. Nature has its way of renewing itself; there is always hope in life. Lan Tung’s Oriole transforms a 1940s Chinese pop song and pays tribute to Shakti, the highly influential 1970s Indian fusion band led by John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. The fast and exciting instrumental melodies create a contrast to the lyrical voice. The piece also showcases the musicians’ improvisational skills.

A graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy, internationally renowned dancer/choreographer Dong Mei has traveled extensively in China to study different ethnic dances. One of her specialties is the Uyghur style, developed at the crossroad of the ancient Silk Road in northwestern China. Dong Mei’s choreography blends Uyghur and modern styles to Tony Leung’s Desert Dew and Farshid Samandari’s Breath of Life. Desert Dew paints the classic desert landscape, while Breath of Life is a metaphor for how Persian and western music have influenced each other.

The evening represents a coming together of brilliant artists and composers connecting across cultures and genres to create something unique and wonderful – a concert all lovers of music will want to experience.

Shan Ju Qiu Ming (2017) – Mark Armanini (BC),
lyrics by Wong Wei (approx. 692-761 AD), world premiere
山居秋暝》- 馬克.阿瑪尼尼,樂隊,世界首演
“Consensus” (2007, 2016) – John Oliver (BC)
《合意》-約翰.奧利佛 ,樂
“Hymn to Aphrodite”  (2015) – Marco Bidin (Italy), world premiere
《讚頌Aphrodite女神》- 馬可.賓狄,樂隊,世界首演
“Breath of Life”  (2005) – Farshid Samandari (BC) for guitar & cello, Dong Mei choreography & dance
《生命的氣息》- 法敘德.薩門達利,吉他與大提琴重奏,冬梅舞蹈
“Rikkud”  (1998, 2017) – Itamar Erez (BC)
《舞》-伊特瑪.阿瑞斯 ,樂
“Fall”  (2017) – Bruce Bai (BC), world premiere
《落》- 柏青林,樂隊,世界首演
“Desert Dew” (2015) – Tony Leung (ON), 
Dong Mei choreography & dance
“Oriole” (2016) – Lan Tung (BC) 


The 2017 Sound of Dragon Ensemble is
Nicole Ge Li – gaohu, erhu, zhonghu
Lan Tung – erhu & vocal
Roderick Seed – flutes
Charlie Lui – dizi/Chinese flutes, xiao
Marina Hasselberg – cello
Itamar Erez – classical guitar
Zhimin Yu – zhongruan & daruan
Jonathan Bernard – percussion

guest conductor: Jin Zhang & John Oliver

Roderick Seed - 長笛
Marina Hasselberg - 大提琴
Itamar Erez- 古典吉他
Jonathan Bernard- 打擊樂


This concert is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, and the SOCAN Foundation. Mark Armanini and John Oliver’s composer residencies are supported by the SOCAN Foundation.