'Lost in vibration' finds new sounds

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A special concert titled "Lost in Vibration" will be held in Hanoi on Oct 20, featuring new ways of performing with the dan tranh (traditional Vietnamese zither).


Organized by the Hanoi-based Goethe Insitute, the concert will be performed by six talented dan tranh artists - Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Nguyen Thuy Dung, Nguyen Quynh Ngoc, Pham Thu Thuy, Nguyen Khanh Chung and Trinh Thi Hanh.


Nguyen Thanh Thuy was born into a musical family and raised with traditional folk music from childhood and graduated as Master of Arts from the Folklore Institute in 2002.


The winner of the First Prize and Best Traditional Music Performer Prize in Vietnam in 1998, she has released several traditional music albums and gives lectures at the Vietnam National Academy of Music from where she graduated.


Since 2004, Nguyen Thanh Thuy has worked regularly with many composers of contemporary music, including Tran Kim Ngoc, Kent Olofsson, Richard Kapen and Malin Bang, and performs new music with musicians from Scandinavia and the US.


Thuy is the first artist to bring the dan tranh into the experimental arena. She has mastered many techniques that do not exist in traditional music. "Lost in Vibration" is the first experimental piece for dan tranh composed by Thuy.


According to the organizers, though dan tranh is a very popular traditional instrument in Vietnam, "Lost in Vibration" will allow the audience to lose themselves in new concepts of sound and music for the instrument.


"The show will prove how strong and rich the sound of dan tranh can be, and demonstrate that the value of tradition should be the first step of creating, not the last step," says a press release.


The dan tranh originally had 16 strings but it was modified by Master Nguyen Vinh Bao (b. 1918) of South Vietnam in the mid 1950s.


Since then, the 17-stringed instrument has gained massive popularity and become the most preferred form of the instrument used throughout Vietnam.


The dan tranh is similar to the Chinese guzheng, Japanese koto and the Korean kayagum.


Goethe-Institut Hanoi is located on 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh Dist. Admission to the event is free.


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