Sunday, June 19, 2016

Righteous Sorta-Classical Music: Nirvana by Do Bao and Van Anh Vo & Vietnamese Folk Medley

So last November, me and my orchestra did a bit of collaboration with a Vietnamese artist named Van Anh Vo, who plays a LOT of cool Vietnamese instruments!
I really enjoyed working with her, she was very nice, and the music was just amazing! I'm going to feature two of the songs we did, one is called Nirvana and is an arrangement of a work by Do Bao, the other is a Folk Medley!
Nirvana has a special place in my heart because it features a solo piccolo part, which is lyrical and beautiful, showcasing the tender side of the instrument that most people don't know exists! There are two main themes, the second serving as a gorgeous counterpoint to the first. I almost didn't come in when we first played this, I was so surprised by how lovely it was! Really like heaven ;) I like how it also combines traditional Asian music sounds (it's in the pentatonic scale) with contemporary music sounds (like that righteous drum set, LOL!).

Nirvana was for a chamber orchestra. It only has the string section, french horns, harp, piccolo (!), percussion, and of course, Dan Tranh. The Folk Medley on the other hand, is for full orchestra!
It's split into three sections.
The first is Rice Drums, a colorful and lively song that sounds like a parade! It hearkens the beautiful landscapes of Vietnam, and opens with a thrilling percussive rhythm!
The second is the Royal King Parade, a slower and dignified folk tune. Have I mentioned that all this time the 2nd violins have been striking their strings with chop sticks instead of their bows? Sometimes 21st Century music is pretty dang cool!
The third section is amazing, and titled The Black Horse. The title is extremely fitting, for this breathless and rhythmically interesting finale! I can almost feel the wind in my hair!

Listen and enjoy! :)

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