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Setting ancient poems to music

CCTV.com

10-28-2016 00:57 BJT

The Beijing International Music Festival is also taking place here in the capital. Called "Musical Legacy and Innovation", the 19th edition is blazing new trails, all while reinterpreting the glorious heritage of classical music. Here's a look at two special concerts where ancient poems were sung, and where composer Tan Dun blended classical music with the digital age.

At this concert, excerpts from well-known poems were perfectly blended with music of the 21st century.

The songs are the genius creation of renowned veteran composer Gu Jianfen.

She says there's no better way to attract the younger generation than through singing, especially when asking them to memorize the legacy of their ancestors.

"I'm 81 years old now and I really want to pass on the classics to the children. For me, nothing is more precious than this," said composer Gu Jianfen.

At this concert, excerpts from well-known poems were perfectly blended with music of the 21st century.

At this concert, excerpts from well-known poems were perfectly blended with music of the 21st century.

Meanwhile, Chinese conductor and composer Tan Dun held a concert on Saturday at The Orange in Beijing with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra.

The one-hour mini concert, which marked the 15th anniversary of Tan and the BMF's collaboration, included two pieces from the composer: Secret of the Wind and Birds, and Farewell My Concubine.

Before the concert, Tan uploaded recordings of bird sounds made using musical instruments that the audience could download to their smartphones. During the performance, Tan gave cues to the audience to play the recordings, so they could become part of the orchestra themselves.

"We have officially entered the digital age and I think cellphones have become a musical instrument. It would be quite interesting to introduce social media apps and cellphones into classical music," said composer/conductor Tan Dun.

Tan Dun's other piece, Farewell My Concubine, combined Peking Opera with piano to tell the life story of Yu Ji, a concubine that lived during the 3rd century BC.

The annual Beijing International Music Festival is one of the city's musical highlights. This year's event runs until October 29th.

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