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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Landscape of harmony

    Paul Amiel plays the di zi, a traditional Chinese flute, alongside Ashley Dacey playing the pi pa, a four stringed lute, Thursday evening in the Summer Thunder Chinese Music Ensemble as part of World Music Day in Crowder Hall.
    Paul Amiel plays the di zi, a traditional Chinese flute, alongside Ashley Dacey playing the pi pa, a four stringed lute, Thursday evening in the Summer Thunder Chinese Music Ensemble as part of World Music Day in Crowder Hall.

    Audiences took a musical tour of East Asia as part of World Music Day, a concert hosted by the UA School of Music’s Ethnomusicology program, Thursday night. For three hours Crowder Hall was transformed into destinations which included China, India and Bali. Local artists from the UA and the Tucson community performed for an almost packed auditorium, a crowd that mostly consisted of members of the community.

    First to perform was the UA club, Summer Thunder, which played traditional Chinese silk and bamboo instruments. Audiences were treated to folk music reminiscent of a watercolor landscape, with titles such as “”Purple Bamboo Melody,”” “”The Jade Hibiscus”” and “”The Flowering Branch of the Plum Tree.””

    Sruti Music of India, took the stage next after a sound problem. The sitar gave the music a mythical feel as attendees listened to lyrics going back as far as 500 years.

    The finale was the 17 member orchestra of Fine Stream Gamelan, who played a 20-minute Balinese piece, composed by founding member Matt Finstrom. The instruments on stage were a meld of xylophones on gongs, creating metallic chime-like sounds as they were beat with mallets and hammers.

    To add to the feel, all performers came dressed in the clothes of the culture.

    Janet Sturman, the concert coordinator and UA School of Music professor, said she was very pleased with the performances and the turnout. “”I printed 350 programs and they’re all gone.””

    “”I think very few people have a chance to sit and listen to this and … become acquainted to with these different styles. You get to see the instruments close at hand and the traditional dress,”” she said.

    It’s good for students who study these cultures, Sturman added. “”It’s hands on, you can’t do this in the classroom. They get a chance to see the traditions up close.””

    But students aren’t the only benefactors. “”I like Chinese (music). It must be the chords. And I loved the gamelan. Because I’d never seen those instruments, it was fascinating,”” said Tucson resident, Roxanna Swoyer.

    “”I’m glad we came because I also like Indian music. That was the other draw for me,”” said world music fan Alana Swoyer.

    Sturman said that the concerts are themed every year. “”This year we did Asian music, next year we’ll do maybe some Latin American (music).””

    Roxanna Swoyer hoped next year maybe they’ll have some Celtic music.

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