New CD by GUO GAN, the sixth for Felmay Records. The great virtuoso of erhu (two-stringed Chinese violin of nomadic origin), in this new recording pays homage to one of the fathers of today's Chinese music: Liu Tian Hua performing ten compositions of the great master for erhu solo. Liu Tian Hua was an important reformer of the classical musical tradition, through the inclusion of elements of classical European music in classical Chinese (court) music, giving a performing autonomy to two instruments that today often symbolize Chinese music, such as the erhu and the pipe (lute).
Chinese music today most likely would not be what it is if there had not been Liu Tian Hua. During the long history of China, music has always been an integral part of society. Long before the birth of Western classical music, long before the West developed a way to annotate the music itself and long before there was a systematic study of matter in the West, the Chinese had written treatises on the subject and constituted a special department to study this discipline in schools and universities of which traces remain in the writings of distinguished scholars. With the decline of the Qing dynasty, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, Chinese music precipitated into an abyss. The decline of court music relegated to street artists and to the few instrumentalists who performed music for religious rites and ceremonies, the role of the only remaining professional musicians. These were not prestigious works that were usually reserved for members of the lower levels of society. After the abolition of the imperial exams in China, Liu Tian Hua had the opportunity to receive a western musical education studying violin and trumpet, even though since then he realized how important it was, for its formation and for the development of music in his country, the study of Chinese music and instruments, and in particular of the erhu. To learn more about traditional music, he learned to play erhu and pipa by religious musicians and street artists. The erhu had been until then considered a very important instrument in Chinese music, even if mainly used as an accompaniment tool. It is only in the hands of Liu Tian Hua that from instrument of accompaniment it becomes a solo instrument. Convinced of the importance of preserving and developing Chinese music through education, Liu Tian Hua has left many writings on this subject and, thanks to his own educational experience, has identified new methods to teach traditional Chinese music that at that time was risking to be dangerously forgotten. In this new recording, Moon Night is the sixth CD that GUO GAN records for Felmay, the great virtuoso honors Liu Tian Hua performing ten compositions in solo the great erhu master.
GUO GAN, master of the Erhu (Chinese violin with two strings of Central Asian origin) who became an ambassador of his instrument in the world, over the years has accustomed us to unusual and unexpected encounters. We remember, among the last ones with the rare and unknown instruments in the hands of LOUP BARROW (fy 8228) and the wonderful union with the balafon player ALY KEITA (fy 8243). Born in Shenyang, China, in a family of artists, GUO GAN since childhood was passionate for music. At the age of four years, he started with his father, Guo JunMing (Famous Chinese Master); he was his father's apprentice in learning the art of the erhu, an old Chinese stringed instrument. In 2001, GUO GAN decided to cross borders and to travel to Paris to extend his musical experiences in perfecting his technique of percussion with the professor Marc Vives Quérol. Since then, he makes Chinese music known to the Western world, collaborating with many important artists: Lang Lang. Hans Zimmer. Gabrel Yared, Yvan Cassar, Didier Lockwood, Jean-François Zygel. The Artist has also participated in the registration of many movies soundtracks. GUO GAN, was awarded the Insignia of Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Embassy in China, 25/04/2016, for his contributions for cultural exchanges and creations crossed between musicians both French and Chinese. As indicated in the Embassy of France, the Order of Arts and Letters, managed by the ministry of culture and communication of the French Republic, is rewarded to "people who have distinguished themselves by their creation in the field of artistic or literary or by the contribution they have made to the radiation of arts and letters in France and in the world." With more than two thousand concerts to his credit, GUO GAN and his elegant virtuosity moved the erhu from the Chinese tradition to a sharing with other musical cultures of the world collaborating among others with Jan Garbarek, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Rokia Traoré, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Amadou and Mariam Bagayogo, Aly Keita, Habib Koité and many others.