Chinese singer Gong Linna is a pioneer in China, creating an individual, new Chinese Art Music. She is transforming the lightness of traditional Chinese melodies and the “Qi” (energy/breath) of centuries old Qin-compositions into new songs in a contemporary production.
New CD-release: Ye Xue - Night Snows
Again a wonderful chamber music album with compositions by the master of new Chinese art music, composer Lao Luo. On most of the songs Linna is accompanied by a Western string quartet, but also the Chinese chamber music ensemble with some of China's finest instrumentalists is featured on this CD.
The title of the CD is taken from a poem by Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi. It is also the title of a suite of four songs with poems by Bai Juyi, opening the album.
New Project: Colours of Longing
A dialogue between Portuguese Fado and Chinese songs
Gong Linna meets in this project with Maestro António Chainho, one of Portugal ’s finest musicians. Together with guitarist Tiago Oliveira, Sheng-player Nie Yunlei and young Fado singer Isabel de Noronha, they stage a sensitive blend of East and West, culminating in a wonderful bilingual finale.
Fado, the most famous classical Portuguese genre, often expresses the longing for home and the beloved; it is rooted in the songs of Portuguese sailors. Imagine an ancestor of Fado singer Isabel de Noronha sailing to China centuries ago, and singing his mourning songs; he might have listened there to an ancestor of songstress Gong Linna, singing “Zou Xikou” (Through the Western Pass), Chinese folk songs with the same expression of longing as in Fado. Today the two voices join on stage, unfolding all the colours of longing that unite all lovers of the world – and so it is not only the sadness of absence that is expressed, but also – representing the bright colours of longing – the joy of life and the delight of love.
EXPO 2010 in Shanghai mainly serves as platform for all countries of the World to present themselves. But it is also a wonderful chance to get into deeper relation with the host country. This audacious project brings together musicians from Portugal and China . Knowing that also in music intercultural misunderstandings are all too common, the musicians went into a long communication process in an effort to find a common language. They will premier the results of their work during the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai on June 7, 2010.
The project involves two fascinating musical instruments, one from Portugal , the other from China :
The Portuguese Guitar is a twelve-stringed instrument with special tuning. From Chinese perspective it can be called the Portuguese Pipa as its sound quality also is close to the Pipa: bright in its basic characteristics, yet able to produce mellow and tender melodies. It is also due to Antonio Chainho’s efforts that this fascinating instrument did not disappear but is more and more known world wide.
The Sheng is a hand-held mouthorgan with bamboo pipes and metal reeds. It produces sound whilst exhaling and inhaling and allows the musician to play chords or even clusters. The Sheng can sound very soft and tender, but can also produce very sharp rhythmic patterns. Although no ancient scores have remained, the instrument itself has a fascinating history of more than 3000 years.
In the hole “Colours of Longing” is a cultural ambitious project that presents a real homage to two world-important, yet so distant cultures.