Sound of Dragon Ensemble 龍吟滄海樂團
“A showcase for the exciting, diverse directions being taken by both local and global composers and players working in the Chinese and western musical traditions” – Vancouver Sun
“a unified yet exotic sound” – Georgia Straight, 2017
Established in 2015 and debuted at the 2016 Sound of Dragon Music Festival, the Sound of Dragon Ensemble brings together some of the most skillful Vancouver musicians from both the east and the west: Nicole Li (erhu), Lan Tung (erhu & voice), Marina Hasselberg (cell), Charlie Lui (dizi), Mark McGregor (flute), Itamar Erez (guitar), Zhimin Yu (ruan), and Jonathan Bernard (percussion). This instrumentation has been carefully selected by pairing Chinese and western instruments in the families of the winds, plucked strings, and bowed strings, completed by a collection of percussion instruments from both the east and the west. The ensemble promotes the awareness/appreciation of Canadian intercultural music-making rooted in ongoing collaboration between artists from distinct cultures/traditions. Its repertoire represents original Canadian intercultural art music and breaks down genre boundaries, crossing over Chinese traditions, contemporary music, world fusion, and improvisation. The ensemble has premiered works by Canadian, US, Taiwanese, Chinese, Italian, and UK composers.
In a recent international call-for-scores, Sound of Dragon received 33 works from composers in 13 countries. Ten works, including a number of world premieres, were programmed at the 2nd Sound of Dragon Music Festival on April 24, 2016. In spring 2017, the ensemble collaborated with dancer Dong Mei and gave a sold out concert at the Annex Theatre in Vancouver. In April 2018, the ensemble performed to a full house audience, in collaboration with the Toronto Chinese Orchestra Chamber Players at the 3rd Sound of Dragon Music Festival. In 2019, the ensemble is collaborating with Melody of China (US) for concerts in Vancouver and San Francisco. It marks the first time two professional ensembles of Chinese roots from across the US/Canada border have come to work together. In the fall, the ensemble’s debut tour will include concerts and educational programs in Singapore and China, including the Ding Yi Chinese Chamber Music Festival. In a very short time, the ensemble has grown to be a strong voice of contemporary cross-cultural music with enthusiastic support from the music community and the audiences. In addition to concerts, the ensemble gives educational workshops to composers interested in writing for their instruments and holds regular reading sessions.
The Sound of Dragon Ensemble 龍吟滄海樂團 (musicians’ bios)
Nicole Ge Li 李歌 – gaohu 高胡, erhu 二胡, zhonghu 中胡
Lan Tung 董籃 – erhu 二胡 & vocal 人聲
Mark McGregor – flutes 長笛
Charlie Lui 呂畇初 – dizi/Chinese flutes 笛子, xiao
Marina Hasselberg – cello 大提琴
Itamar Erez – guitar 吉他
Zhimin Yu 于志敏 – zhongruan 中阮 & daruan 大阮
Jonathan Bernard – percussion 打擊樂
溫哥華喬治亞週報形容龍吟滄海樂團的音樂，兼具「 融合一致的整體性及文化碰撞帶來的異域風情」。樂團集結了大溫地區一群技巧精湛的音樂家， 共同探索跨文化的音樂領域，並提供作曲家、演奏家們創意實現的平台。樂團2015年首次的徵曲，即在國際上受到熱烈的迴響，收到33首來自13個國家作曲家的作品。此外，樂團亦積極委託當代作曲家譜寫新作。目前樂團的保留曲目有加拿大、台灣、中國、美國、義大利、英國作曲家的作品。