MFO interviews "Bridging Frontiers" erhu soloist Ling Hock Siang

May 6, 2014

 

Ling Hock Siang is the Associate Erhu Principal of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and recipient of the national-level Singapore Youth Award and Young Artist Award. He is also the first Singaporean to attain a Master’s Degree in erhu performance. Ling is widely recognised as one of Singapore’s most representative and accomplished Chinese classical music performers and educators.

 

Hock Siang will be performing in Bridging Frontiers, a concert that reflects the MFO's vision to enrich lives through orchestral performances that connect, inspire and entertain. Bridging Frontiers will bring together lovers of both Chinese and Western classical music in a celebration of orchestral music in a uniquely Singapore context, combining the artistry of  some of Singapore’s most recognisable and respected classical musicians. Please click here for more information.

MFO: Hock Siang, what were your first thoughts when you were first approached by the MFO to perform as a soloist with the orchestra in a concert? Is this the first time that you will be performing with a Western-style symphony orchestra?

 

Ling Hock Siang (LHS): Yes, this is the first time that I will be performing a Chinese work with a Western-style symphony orchestra.  When Jia Hua (General Manager of the MFO) first sounded me on a possible collaboration with the MFO, I was of course very excited and eager to take on the challenge of being a part of such a cross-cultural musical project.


是的,这是我第一次和西洋交响乐团合作演出中国作品。当贵团总经理来找我问及愿不愿意和贵交响乐团合作演出时,我当然是感到非常兴奋的,并表示愿意尝试来碰撞这一次东西方文化交流的火花。

MFO: The MFO has specially commissioned composer Eric Watson to rearrange Liu Xi Jin's Double Erhu Concerto "Hymn of Wusuli" for performance by 2 erhu soloists accompanied by the MFO. Having previously performed the original work as a soloist with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, how different do you expect the experience of performing it with the MFO to be? Will you have to change anything in the way you approach the performance?

 

LHS: Liu Xi Jin's Double Erhu Concerto "Hymn of Wusuli" was originally written for performance by a Chinese orchestra. Conceived as such, the piece is based around melodic and aesthetic characteristics that are unique to Chinese traditional music. A Western-style symphony orchestra obviously produces a sound palette that is very different from that of a Chinese orchestra, and with Eric Watson’s re-orchestration of the work for performance by the MFO, I’m sure that it will be a very different experience, one which I am very much looking forward to!

 

刘锡津的双二胡协奏曲《乌苏里吟》原创作是为华乐团而作的。作曲家的创作构思必然是以华乐团中的华族乐器的器乐法,按照中国音乐的旋法特点及审美思维进行创作。西洋交响乐团的乐队总体音响色彩和华乐团的截然不同。这一次的音乐会由作曲家Eric Watson 进行从新配器,这将会是一次不一样的音乐体验,让我们拭目以待!

MFO: Tell us more about what kind of piece this is - besides being an erhu showpiece, what does it portray musically, and what can audiences expect to hear? What does the piece mean to you personally as a performer?

 

LHS: Besides what I have just mentioned about the difference in sound palette, it will be very interesting for erhu lovers to hear how such a traditional Chinese music instrument is able to both contend and integrate with the sound of a symphony orchestra. Furthermore, in the erhu repertoire, double erhu concertos are exceedingly rare. For all these reasons, this performance promises to be a memorable and unique musical experience.

 

除了上面所说的音响色彩的不同之外,对于二胡爱好者观众而言,应该更乐于听到的是二胡这一件中国传统乐器,如何与交响团的音响抗衡?如何协调?在二胡曲目当中,以双二胡协奏曲的形式演出,是较为少见的。因此综合上述种种因素,这绝对会是一次不一样的体验。

MFO: The title of the concert is Bridging Frontiers, and the "Hymn of Wusuli" will be an important part of of the MFO's attempt to bring together lovers of both Western and Chinese classical music in a common celebration of orchestral music. What would you say to a potential audience member to convince them to come experience this unique concert?

 

LHS: Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-cultural country, and in this concert, the audience can expect to be immersed in a familiar yet unique experience of cultural connection and exchange. In the culinary arts it’s like using chopsticks to eat pasta, or using a fork and spoon to eat rice; in language it’s like a Chinese person speaking English or a Westerner speaking Mandarin; each audience member will experience the concert in a different way, and that’s really an experiment that will be absolutely fascinating!

 

新加坡是一个多元种族,多元文化的国家。在这一次的音乐会中,观众将会再次感受到东西方文化融合交汇的体验。就像是餐饮文化中用筷子吃意大利面、用汤匙和叉子吃饭菜;又或者在种族语言文化中华人讲英语、洋人说华语一样有趣。其中的感受,当然因人而异了!

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