Feature: Award-winning Chinese artist's NYC concert spurs discussion on contemporary music

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-18 07:45:16|Editor: Yamei
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NEW YORK, March 17 (Xinhua) -- A recent concert of an award-winning Chinese artist has spurred discussion on the contemporary music which stands for original new sounds for some, but non-traditional scales and chords for others.

"I wasn't trained in the music arts and I don't understand most contemporary music, but I find that I will always hear a few gems at every contemporary concert," said Shuchun Liu, a painter form Long Island, New York.

Liu was among the audience who packed the Merkin Concert Hall, one of New York City's finest concert venues, on Tuesday for the third Through The Noise Contemporary Concert.

Chinese composer and pianist Zhihua Hu, a Global Music Award winner, together with three other young Chinese artists - Feifei Yang (Erhu/Vocal), Chen Fan (Pipa) and Wei Sun (Guzheng), premiered Hu's new ensemble work "Woman Who Wears Qipao Dress."

Through The Noise is a concert series founded by Hu and initiated by professors and student composers at the Manhattan School of Music.

The concert hopes to eventually treasure composers of various backgrounds from different countries and give concerts that truly push the boundaries of what music can be, according to Hu.

The first and second concert series were respectively held in May, 2017 and March, 2018 in New York City. Major participating composers included Germany's Reiko Futing and other artists from West and East.

"I like going to these special concerts, because I understand that music changes over time. The music that I listened to when I was young was considered contemporary ... now it's considered classic," said Lauren Owens, a school principal and self-employed designer from Paris, France. "I like to listen to these innovative artists, because they are a clue to the future of our musical evolution."

Daniel McCarthy, a resident in Manhattan, NYC, is among the many who have actually attended all three shows in the series.

"This was, by far, the biggest venue for the series. More and more people are interested in the direction that young people are trying to take music," McCarthy said.

"The uniqueness of this newest show was mind blowing. After seeing this show, I will never look at classic musical instruments in the same way," he said.

Jeff Stonehill, a lawyer from Staten Island, NYC, said he really enjoyed "Woman Who Wears Qipao Dress," "Track One: Intro," by James Diaz, and "Nachspie(ge)l im Nachspie(ge)l" by Reiko Futing.

"Having said that, all of the compositions and performances were thought provoking and distinctive," he said.

Lucy Yao, a pianist from Canada, said she will continue to support these creative musicians though she did not like all the music pieces.

"If not for these pioneering artists, past and present, music would be repetitive and boring," Yao said. "I don't feel that I have a responsibility to like every performance or composition. But I do have a compulsion to make sure that they always have an opportunity to be heard."

Peter Kramer, a composer from the NYC, said he wished "more people would take the time to understand contemporary music."

"These concert level performers could easily play the classics that most people have heard and like. They really are accomplished artists and many have great performance resumes," he said. "Contemporary composers understand that their music won't be as easily accepted as the more common types music like Pop, Blues and Jazz. But they are fearless and at the forefront of musical transformation."