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Video: Tan Dun recalls John Cage with musical creation

10-22-2012 19:48 BJT

By CCTV reporter Yang Ran

The conceptual and multifaceted Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene. He’s composed a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and eastern and western traditions. The ongoing 15th Beijing Music Festival was honored to have Tan Dun present one of its most anticipated concerts on Sunday at the Poly Theater in Beijing.

It was a night of two world premieres and two Chinese premieres. Opening the night was the world premiere of "Atonal Rock n’Roll Overture, Of Youth", which is dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Music Festival. What makes it special is that the composer wrote the piece for a jazz drum kit, an instrument not commonly seen in an orchestra.

Concerto for orchestra became one of the musical forms composers most preferred in the 20th century. Tan Dun’s "Concerto for Orchestra", originated from Tan’s 1995 opera "Marco Polo".

The conceptual and multifaceted Chinese composer and conductor
Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene.

The late-John Cage, an experimental composer, writer, painter and visual artist from the 20th century, played a significant role in the history of modern music in the United States. He greatly influenced Tan Dun’s vision of the world as well as his musical perspectives. Tan pays special tribute to what would have been Cage’s 100th birthday by introducing two works by the late composer’s, "Atlas Eclipticalis" and "4’33"".

Those who are acquainted with Tan Dun’s musical creations are surely open to see, hear and experience anything at his concerts. And this time round they weren’t disappointed. Erhu, Guqin and wheel drums are meticulously imbued into the orchestra, and Tan himself even borrows the 64 hexagrams from the "I Ching", or "the Book of Changes" for the fingering of his conduction.

He says the core of the concert is the spirit of the festival.

Tan Dun said, "The Beijing Music Festival is a teenager. I love to work with young people."

After the celebratory concert, Tan Dun will attend a sit-down dialogue with Beijing Music Festival artistic director Yu Long, and his companions from other genres of music, including the Chinese mainland’s godfather of rock n’roll Cui Jian and Taiwan mando-pop legend Lo Tayu.

 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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