Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tran Quang Hai posted by Anthony McCarthy

The first recording of Vietnamese music I’d ever owned was "Landscape of the Highlands”, zither music played by the distinguished professor, Trân Quang Hai. * So it was his name I was looking for when I wanted to post a piece of music played on Dan Tranh. I didn’t find a You Tube of him playing that instrument but he had posted his playing on Jew’s harp and the spoons. He does amazing things with both and manages to make music at the same time.

Two Vietnamese tunes on Yakut Jew's harp

A demonstration of the dan moi or “baby Jew’s harp.

Spoon playing techniques

An improvisation by Prof. Tran Van Khe, Prof. Tran Quang Hai and Mrs. Pham Thuy Hoan and Hai Phuong

An improvisation on the Nam Xuan Mode by Prof. Tran Van Khe (drum), Prof. Tran Quang Hai(spoons), Hai Phuong (zither dan tranh)

The look of these three virtuosos as they really get into it will be entirely familiar to any musician. It is a revelation to find out about whole worlds of music around us, complete with a fully developed musical culture, that are routinely ignored by those outside of them. This is very good music that should be widely known.

If you’re interested, check out his amazing demonstrations of more spoon playing and his remarkable singing techniques he has posted on You Tube.

* “Landscape of the Highlands - Trân Quang Hai", edited by Music of the World, Chapell Hill, USA, 1997