Melodia Nostalgica - Giọt Sầu

from by Dang Kim Hien

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This composition was commissioned by the Australia Asia Foundation for a series of presentation of electro-acoustic works on the theme of Australian perceptions of Asia by women composers.

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 a tin roof may at times trigger flashes of memories. Bitter or sweet, I have always treasured such moments.

Slowly touch the old string
Drops of deep tunes ringing
Somberly fall into the fathomless
Silently permeate the exile's innermost

For me, the memories of the old land are the foundation of my efforts to plant seeds for future flowers in Australia, my homeland of the present. This piece of music combines the contrasting sounds of musical instruments from East and West. The interaction of contrasting sounds of the piano and the dan bau 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 bring their heritage to contribute to the cultivation and development of new cultures in new lands.

The experimental monochord dan bau, created by Mr. Phan Chí Thanh, was used in this composition to generate low tones which cannot be produced on the traditional monochord.


from Melodia Nostalgica, released February 1, 2013
Dang Kim Hien: dan bau (Vietnamese monochord)
Kim Hoang Le: Piano



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Dang Kim Hien Melbourne, Australia

Dang Kim Hien is a composer, performer and educator. She is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, specialising in Vietnamese strings and percussion. She taught at the Department of Traditional Music of the Conservatory of Music in Saigon (Vietnam) between 1981 and 1994. She has performed extensively to present her original works on international platforms. ... more

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