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Tan Dun brings martial arts music experience to the capital

(Global Times)

08:42, June 03, 2013

As part of this year's Inter City Music Festival held by Pilot Music, renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun is presenting music from his famous martial arts "trilogy" for an outdoor symphony on June 9 in Beijing's Chaoyang Park.

He will be joined by Chinese pianist Lang Lang, singer Zhang Liangying, Japanese violinist Ryu Goto, Swedish cellist Kajsa William-Olsson and the China National Symphony Orchestra.

Though made respectively for three different Chinese wuxia movies in different time periods - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000), Hero (Zhang Yimou, 2002) and The Banquet (Feng Xiaogang, 2006) - the three pieces of music in the trilogy share similar themes and mood: tragic love and a dreamlike atmosphere.

Unlike the common perception that traditional instruments should be used when composing music to represent a particular culture, Tan likes to go against convention. He put emphasis on the cello for Crouching Tiger, beautifully combined the violin with the Chinese guqin (seven-string zither) in Hero, and featured the piano for The Banquet.

As a musician who has studied and worked in the US for more than two decades, Tan has found that the martial arts, or wuxia, spirit has also attracted a vast Western following. And also, these concertos fulfill his own dream of using music to represent the idea of wuxia.

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