for đàn bầu [Vietnamese monochord], piano and a flock of birds
Music created by Dang Kim Hien
Performers: Dang Kim Hien (monochord), Kim Le (piano)
For me Asia is not an exotic place. Asia was my homeland of the past. Asia has been lingering in my mind as a place in which the scents of my memories have been preserved. While living in Australia and engaging in all aspects of an Australian life, a drop of dew, a bird call or the sound of heavy rain on the tin roof may at times trigger flashes of memories. Bitter or sweet, I have always treasured such moments. For me, the memories of the old land are the foundation for my efforts of planting the seeds for future flowers in Australia, my homeland of the present
This piece of music combines the sounds of musical instruments from East and West. The interaction of the piano and the đàn bầu is a manifestation of the power of being able to appreciate and accept the differences. The calls of a flock of birds in the background act as a reminder that many people live a migratory life and are able to appreciate the beauties of all regions of the globe. The experimental monochord đàn bầu, created by Mr. Phan Chí Thanh, was used in this composition to generate low tones which cannot be produced on the traditional monochord. This is the first composition for this experimental instrument.
Chậm lần trên dây cũ
Nắn mấy giọt đàn trầm
Giọt rơi xuống đáy hư không
Giọt âm thầm đẫm vào lòng tha hương
Slowly touch the old string
Drops of deep tunes ringing
Sombrely fall into the fathomless
Silently permeat the exile’s innermost
Sounds and text copyright © 2006 by Dang Kim Hien
This work was commissioned by the Australia Asia Foundation in 2006
This project was supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.