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Wu gives ancient instrument a new stage to communicate

Updated: 2015-12-28 07:52:56

( China Daily )

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The band, called Again, was one of the first bands to blend rock with Chinese traditional music.

With four studio albums released, the band not only fused rock tunes with Chinese instruments, such as the pipa, but also used ancient Chinese poetry as lyrics.

During the upcoming concerts, Wu will perform his latest work, titled The Voice of Sheng, with Zhao Wei, the former guitarist of his band. They will also perform new versions of their old hits, such as Swallow and The Flames of Yangzhou Road.

Wu's biggest opportunity came in 2000 when he met internationally celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the United States. The same year, he joined in the Silk Road Ensemble, a project launched by Ma in 1998, which gathers musicians from different cultures.

Wu played a tune titled Kuai Le on the CD Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace, which won the 52nd Grammy Awards' Best Classical Crossover Album in 2010.

The experience gave Wu a wider vision of the sheng.

In 2004, Wu formed his new group, Magpie, which features traditional Chinese music with new arrangements and instruments that include the violin, pipa, guitar and sheng.

He has also worked with artists in various fields, including writing music for The Grandmaster, an award-winning film directed by Wong Kar-wai.

In May, Wu collaborated with Wong again by writing music for the exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, which was held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Titled Four Seasons, the music piece showcases Wu's interpretation of oriental aesthetics.

"I am adventurous, and the sheng, which is full of possibilities, is the best instrument for me to explore," Wu says.

If you go

8 pm, Thursday and Friday. Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, 9 Tianqiao South Street, Xicheng district, Beijing. 400-635-3355.

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