Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

348 views · Organized by 一杯清酒 on 2022-11-03

"Listen, this is a bird singing, this is a horse running. Then, the horse got tired and made a cry for help. At this time, an ambulance came to help it, and these sounds accompanied me when I grew up..."

The girl portrayed and played with the instrument in her hand. The wonderful music flowed, and the audience applauded. Recently, the video of Chen Yimiao, a Chinese girl born in the 00s, giving a speech in pure English to promote erhu in an American museum attracted attention, and netizens praised her "beautiful and talented".

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

Chen Yimiao, a native of Changshu, Jiangsu Province, was born in the "erhu family". She began to learn piano at the age of 4. She was admitted to the Affiliated High School of the Central Conservatory of Music at the age of 12. She achieved the gold medal grand slam in China's three major erhu competitions as the youngest winner. Last year, at the age of 17, she was admitted to the Berkeley Conservatory of Music with a full scholarship.

In March this year, at the invitation of the curator of Boer Museum, she participated in the classic special concert "Art Gathering East and West, United States and the United States" jointly held by Boer Museum and the American Chinese Style Art Association, bringing the pure English keynote speech of "Erhu: Past and Present". After the video spread, domestic netizens praised her fluent English and excellent piano skills.

Chen Yimiao told the reporter that in this speech, she told the past and present life of erhu by telling stories. Through the historical context of erhu, she communicated with people around the world in the unique language of erhu. She not only hopes to spread the long history and culture of erhu in China, share the unique charm of erhu, but also hopes to let more audiences know about Chinese musical instruments and Chinese culture.

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

As a beginner at the age of 4, erhu is a pet, friend, idol and "the most mysterious person"

In 2004, Chen Yimiao was born into an erhu family. Her grandfather Chen Yaoxing and father Chen Jun were both famous erhu players. The strong traditional music atmosphere in the family planted a seed of folk music for her. As the third generation descendant of Chen's erhu, Chen Yimiao started her erhu career at the age of 4. In her memory, she spent her childhood almost every day practicing the piano.

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

△ From left to right: Chen Yimiao, his grandfather Chen Yaoxing, and his father Chen Jun

Chen Yimiao told the reporter of Xiaoxiang Morning News that the erhu is a seemingly simple instrument, but it actually requires a lot of effort. "Since Grandpa Zeng, our family has been playing erhu for more than 100 years, so I have been under pressure from the very beginning of my study." Chen Yimiao said that because her grandfather and father both played the erhu to a very high level, as their inheritors, how to find the position and height that erhu should have in her own age requires constant efforts and exploration.

"The erhu has a magical charm. It seems that it has a power that can make me become another person, make me shine on the stage, or use its magic to make me practice hard in the room for 12 hours." The pressure encouraged people to grow up. At the age of 12, Chen Yimiao was admitted to the Affiliated Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music, studied under the guidance of Professor Yu Hongmei, a famous erhu player, and achieved the gold medal grand slam in China's three major erhu competitions as the youngest winner.

As a child, Chen Yimiao has established a deep relationship with erhu. For her, erhu is a pet, friend, idol and "the most mysterious person". "As long as you pay for it, it will never let you down and will give you more feedback than you pay." Chen Yimiao said that since the age of 4, the erhu has accompanied her every day, and she often puts her ideas into music, she found that the erhu has brought her many unexpected surprises.

Chen Yimiao, only 18 years old, has rich performing experience. In March 2017, she participated in the Spring Lecture "China and the West - Sino foreign Cultural Exchange from a Multi dimensional Perspective" at the Cultural China Forum, and played the song "Ten Thousand Horses Running" with erhu; In March 2018, she participated in the CCTV Lantern Festival Gala, performing instrumental music with Chen Yaoxing and Chen Jun to play "New Horse Racing"; In 2019, Hunan Satellite TV's global top talent show Peak Night ushered in the ultimate summit ceremony, and Chen Yimiao stood out in the global top eight finals and won the runner up; In 2020, she participated in the third season of the live music show "National Music Festival", and in the program, she and other singers and musicians adapted and played popular songs such as "Autumn" and "Dala Bang Bar", which won wide praise.

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

In addition, Chen Yimiao often uses video to record daily life, which is full of animation, anime, national style, cute pet and other elements. The video of erhu playing with the soundtrack of the film Dune was also forwarded by Hans Zimmer, the film soundtrack master. Chen Yimiao, who is not a musician, is quiet. He likes watching movies, reading books other than music, drawing simple animations and playing cat and dog.

Studying in the United States, attracting attention from international stage performances

In 2021, Chen Yimiao won an offer from Berkeley Conservatory of Music, the top modern music institute in the United States, and also won a full scholarship from the school. She carried the erhu on her back and her "obsession" with traditional ethnic musical instruments, and went abroad, opening a new stage of her life.

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

Chen Yimiao studied modern music writing and production in Berkeley. It is difficult for her to understand the composition theory that she is not very familiar with in a new language. "I remember that in the first semester, I studied very late every day, especially in the final exam. I had to learn three or four o'clock every day." In the face of challenges, Chen Yimiao made great efforts, but she also found that she was inspired by a power that she had never had before.

In March 2022, Chen Yimiao attended a concert in Los Angeles. After hearing her performance, the curator of the Paul Museum invited her to the museum to introduce erhu to more audiences. This is her first speech in English, which is a great challenge for her and also an opportunity to practice her English. After the speech, applause and praise continued. "I know that one of your compliments is to encourage me, but more is to love traditional Chinese musical instruments." Chen Yimiao said.

"Although I sometimes feel sad to see the erhu, like other traditions, it has gradually become far away from our lives, but as a new generation, I hope that through my efforts, the erhu can be combined with the times again. I hope that valuable culture will still bring happiness to people and will be revived again." The audience applauded before the speech was finished. At the end of the speech, Chen Yimiao brought the song "The Battling Horse" created by his grandfather Chen Yaoxing.

Chinese girls share the charm of erhu in the United States and promote traditional culture to the international stage

In Chen Yimiao's opinion, all beautiful music should be shared with all mankind. What musicians should do is not only to spread Chinese traditional music to the world, but also to attract the world's attention to China's traditional culture with unique music. Chen Yimiao said that she hoped to retain the advantages of Chinese traditional music and promote Chinese traditional culture to the international stage. She also hoped that on the basis of inheriting the tradition of erhu, she would constantly try new possibilities in music creation and integrate the voice of her generation.

Involving the artist

Chen Yimiao, born in Beijing on June 18, 2004, is an erhu player in mainland China and the third-generation descendant of Chen's erhu.
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Involving musical instruments

Erhu (Pinyin: Erhu) originated in the Tang Dynasty, called "Xiqin", and has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Erhu, or Erxian Huqin, also known as "Nanhu" and "Omzi", is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments (wiping strings) in the Chinese national musical instrument family.

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