Mountain High River Flow …without end
music | animation | multimedia
Co-presented by the Orchid Ensemble, Flicker Art Collaboratory,
and the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
Where: Roundhouse’s Performance Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC)
When: 8pm on January 15, 2011
Tickets $20/$15 at the door, $18/$13 in advance, ticketweb.ca or 1-888-222-6606
The audience is invited to meet the artists at the post-concert reception for refreshment
and an early celebration of Chinese New Year.
free lecture at the Vancouver Public Library at 7-8:30pm on January 6, 2011
featuring media artists Aleksandra Dulic &Kenneth Newby, and composers Dorothy Chang & Lan Tung
Rich Asian traditions meet contemporary music and modern video technology, giving a panoramic view of the famous Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) of China. Come to enjoy original live music rooted in Chinese traditions and performed on a cross-cultural instrumentation, against a backdrop of interactive animated landscape painting.
The JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble will give the world premiere of music by Rui Shi Zhuo (Canada/China), and the Canadian premiere of music by Dorothy Chang (Canada/US) and Lan Tung (Canada/Taiwan), on its cross-cultural instrumentation of the erhu/Chinese violin, zheng/Chinese zither, marimba, percussion and voices. Flicker Art Collaboratory’s Dr. Aleksandra Dulic leads a group of UBC students to create stunning animation, while Kenneth Newby develops the software to control video images with musical signals, visualizing the melodic and rhythmic contours. As a result, the scroll acts as an instrument that allows the artists and musicians to interact, improvise and co-create the media image, giving a whole new range of expression, transforming the ancient art forms.
The sense of breath flows through different forms of Asian arts, in music, dance, painting, and calligraphy. This is the unifying element between the music composers, the musicians and the media artists in this project. Much of the music and the visuals are inspired by the ever-changing climates on top of the Yellow Mountain. The fast moving sea of clouds, the unusually shaped stones and pine trees, the white waterfalls and green ponds, and the singing birds and playful monkeys are the characters in this well balanced eco-system.
Drawing inspiration from the landscape to express humanity and emotions, this is an ancient Chinese tradition to seek representations of human characters in nature to mirror our souls. As in Chinese philosophy, mountain and water constitute all aspects of Nature in two poles – yin and yang. This project incorporates ancient traditions with modern expression, creating an interdisciplinary production that is creative, distinct and culturally reflective.
Musicians: Lan Tung – erhu/Chinese violin & vocals, Yu-chen Wang – zheng/Chinese zither,
Jonathan Bernard – percussion
Music compositions – Dorothy Chang, Lan Tung, and Rui Shi Zhuo
Media composition & performance – Aleksandra Dulic & Kenneth Newby
Animation – Rabkine Suen & Oliver Szeleczky (UBC Students)
Animation Assistants – Nadine Bradshaw, Laura Gourley, Michelle Wilmot (UBC Students)
Producer: Lan Tung
Sponsors: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, and
Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan
Orchid Ensemble – http://www.orchidensemble.com
Established in 1997, the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble is Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) on the erhu/Chinese violin, Yu-chen Wang (Taiwan/US) on the zheng/Chinese zither, and Jonathan Bernard (Canada) on percussion. The ensemble blends ancient musical instruments and traditions from China and beyond, creating a beautiful new sound. The ensemble has embraced a variety of musical styles to its repertoire, ranging from the traditional and contemporary music of China, World Music, New Music to Jazz and Creative Improvisation. The energetic yet endearing performance style of the ensemble consistently intrigues and delights its audiences. Acclaimed as ‘One of the brightest blossoms on the world music scene’ (Georgia Straight), the Orchid Ensemble has been tirelessly developing an innovative musical genre based on the cultural exchange between Western and Asian musicians.
The Orchid Ensemble regularly collaborates with artists from various backgrounds. At the same time, it commissions new works from Canadian and US composers to create a contemporary repertoire. Its annual productions have evolved to integrate music with multimedia, dance and scenographic installation.
The ensemble tours regularly across North America, giving over seventy performances every year at concert halls, educational institutes and prominent World, Jazz and Folk Music festivals. Recent appearances include The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery, Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, Festival Miami, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the National Arts Centre, and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. As BC’s spokesperson for the UNESCO ASPnet in Canada, the Orchid Ensemble gives educational presentations to various age groups. The ensemble’s CD Road to Kashgar won a 2005 JUNO nomination, and is featured regularly on CBC TV, Radio and Radio Canada. A new CD Life Death Tears Dream will be released in spring 2011.
Lan Tung – music composition & producer
Playing a dynamic role in the Canadian music scene, Lan Tung is an erhu performer, composer, producer, and administrator. Originally from Taiwan, she incorporates Chinese music with contemporary expressions in her works. At the same time, an intensive interest in music outside her tradition has been a major drive in her artistic explorations.
As a composer, Lan Tung creates a new voice that draws inspiration from her background in Chinese music. However, her influences include western contemporary music, creative improvisation, and various ethnic styles, such as Indian, Indonesian, Flamenco and Central Asian. She uses elements of traditional music as bridges to connect between Asian and western ears, while experimenting with contradictions by taking culturally specific materials outside their context and fusing them with other genres. Incorporating improvisation and graphic notations with Asian traditions, she explores a new territory to discover fresh sounds.
Lan is the artistic director of the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble, and the vice president of the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra. Lan has produced a number of projects by Orchid Ensemble and Flicker Art Collaboratory.
604-255-2357, <email@example.com>, cel: 778-881-7123, http://www.lantungmusic.com
Jonathan Bernard – musician (percussion)
Jonathan combines his background in Western percussion with a fascination for Asian traditions to create a unique sound palette incorporating a myriad of instruments, techniques and styles. Jonathan’s interests span genres from orchestral music to New Music, and World Music. Having premiered over seventy chamber works, Jonathan performs with Orchid Ensemble, Tandava, Vancouver New Music, Fringe Group, and numerous orchestras including Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, National Ballet and CBC Radio Orchestras. He is currently the principal percussionist with the Vancouver Island Symphony. Jonathan’s interest in world music has led him to perform Chinese, Javanese, Balinese and Korean music and study traditional and contemporary Chinese percussion in Beijing, China, Arabic percussion in Cairo, Egypt, and Carnatic rhythm in South India with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. Jonathan has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Japan.
Flicker Art Collaboratory
Aleksandra Dulic – media composition & performance
Aleksandra Dulic is media artist and theorist working at the intersections of interactive multimedia installation and live performance with research foci in cross-cultural media performance, interactive animation and computational poetics. She is active as an artist, writer, educator and curator with an active international teaching, presentation and publishing practice. Her artistic work is widely presented internationally in exhibitions, festivals, and television broadcasts. These works include animated media performances, films, interactive computer installations, software tools for interactive animation, as well as interdisciplinary collaborations with composers and artists in various disciplines, such as music, dance, theatre, poetry, and shadow play. Aleksandra has received a number of awards for her short animated films and interactive media artworks.
In addition to four major productions with the Orchid Ensemble, Dulic and Newby’s past works included software development for sport simulation games in Electronic Arts (Newby 1997/98), interactive installation work at New Forms Festival, Surrey Art Gallery and Beal Centre for Art and Technology in Irvine (Dulic and Newby). Their electronic shadow play Out of the Labyrinth is an improvised puppet animation presented at the 2006 Elektra Festival in Montréal and Interactive Futures in Victoria. Dulic and Newby recently developed the new media aspect of Semar’s Journey, an electronic shadow play that integrates gamelan music, dance, traditional puppetry and new media with Gamelan Madu Sari in Vancouver and Indonesia in 2007; as well as Pasiphae’s Desire, a live animated cinema and multimedia performance at the Academy of Electronic Arts & International Centre, New Dehli, India and Emily Carr Institute for Art, Design and Media in 2007. All of these projects relate directly to various aspects of what is proposed here, and the experiences will be carried into this new project.
Kenneth Newby – media composition & performance
Kenneth Newby is an accomplished composer-performer and media artist whose creative practice explores the use of computational technology to enable media performances and installations that are rich with aural and visual nuances. With research interests in the areas of computational poetics, interdisciplinary media performance, cultural encoding and interaction design, his practice includes the creation of interactive computer systems for live media performance, as well as software tools for composition and design. He has worked as an audio software designer for Electronic Arts, interaction design consultant for Pixar Animation Studios and producer for City of Tribes records. Having studied and taught in Central Javs, he has a long-standing relationship with the Javanese performing arts. His music is released on a number of CDs, and his writings on new media theory and practice are published in several journals and book chapters. Kenneth taught in the Film, Video & Integrated Media; Digital Visual Arts; and Foundation areas at Emily Carr Institute of Art, Design and Media. His current work is focused on the integration of media diffusion techniques and skilled performers with the objective of creating new forms of situated open media.
Community connection: lives in East Vancouver, used to live close to UBC. Teaches in Abbotsford, taught at Emily Carr, SFU.
Dorothy Chang – music composition
Described as “evocative and kaleidoscopic”, the music of Dorothy Chang is characterized by an emphasis on dramatic intensity and expressive lyricism, with a more recent interest in interdisciplinary works involving video, imagery and movement. Her music has been featured in concerts and festivals across North America and abroad, and performed by the Albany, Chicago Civic, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Queens, Seattle, Saint Paul Chamber and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, as well as by chamber ensembles including eighth blackbird, the Smith Quartet, the Chicago Saxophone Quartet, Collage New Music and Music from China, among others. From 2005-2008, Dorothy served as a Music Alive composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
Born in 1970 in Winfield, Illinois, Dorothy received degrees in composition from the University of Michigan and the Indiana University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia.
Rui Shi Zhuo – music composition
Rui Shi Zhuo was born in China in 1956. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Shanghai Conservatory in 1986 and moved to Canada in 1991 to study composition at the University of British Columbia with Keith Hamel and Stephen Chatman. He received a Master of Music degree from UBC in 1995. Zhuo has composed music for Chinese and Western ensembles, a sacred cantata and a concert opera, and several works for solo and chamber groups. As well, he writes music for film and other media and is the composer of the soundtrack for the National Film Board animated film The Chinese Violin and for the CDRom game Lotus Spring. He was the Music Adjudicator for Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival during 2004-2007 seasons, and was teaching composition/conducting at the Prairie Bible Institute in 2003-2005. Rui is currently the artistic director and conductor at the BC Chinese Orchestra.