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Revisiting classics

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-07 09:16
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A new version of the musical, Shi Jing Cai Wei, or A Homesick Warrior, will be staged at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing on May 18 and 19 as part of the ongoing Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A musical inspired by ancient poetry will be staged at the ongoing Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, Chen Nan reports.

Composer Zou Hang creates music in various genres, ranging from classical to rock to traditional Chinese operas.

In 2008, he was one of the composers of the piano concerto, Starry Sky, which was performed by pianist Lang Lang at the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2010 and 2011, Zou was the music director for crossover concerts by rock musician Cui Jian along with symphony orchestras.

Early last year, when he was approached by producer Dai Xiaolan to write music for a musical, Zou says he wanted to give it a try although the project - inspired by a collection of Chinese poems from the 11th to the sixth centuries BC, known as Shi Jing, or Classics of Poetry - was challenging.

"Shi Jing is written in traditional Chinese, and we spent a long time working on the script," says Zou, adding that some words in the ancient text were even difficult to pronounce.

"Chinese words have four main tones that are rhythmic. The music has to fit the pronunciations of the lyrics, too."

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