In Huaqiangbei, Luo Hongjun, a folk artist, played a sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

353 views · Organized by 苏肆 on 2022-11-01

During the three hour live broadcast, Luo Hongjun hardly spoke. Instead of language, it was his erhu. "Horse racing", "Iron hearted", "Step high"... The unique timbre of the erhu penetrates the screen and reaches the people's hearts, bringing the audience to the mood of sadness and desolation.

In Huaqiangbei, Luo Hongjun, a folk artist, played a sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

Luo Hongjun has insisted on such live broadcast for two years. Earlier, he was a folk artist active in the streets of Shenzhen. For more than 20 years, he has walked the Jianghu with an erhu, built a home with a pair of plucking hands, and set up a small stage for himself in the noisy streets.

From the prosperous intersection of Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen to the "crossroads" of the network in the live broadcast room, Luo Hongjun has passed through countless intersections of destiny in his life, but there seems to be a voice guiding him all the time, moving towards the most steadfast dream in his heart.

He listened carefully. The voice that guided the destiny seemed to come from the erhu in his own hands.

Hua Qiangbei, playing sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

Destiny first turned the gears when Luo Hongjun was 8 years old. He found a broken erhu on the wall of the school classroom. Luo Hongjun, who could read and sing music scores at that time, used this erhu with only one string to find a complete tune in half a day. In this way, Luo Hongjun began his half life of Erhu self-study. Later, no matter whether he was an educated youth, a worker, or doing business himself, Erhu never left his life.

In 2000, Luo Hongjun's advertising decoration business in his hometown Huanggang, Hubei, was in trouble, so he came to Shenzhen at the invitation of his friends to earn a future for his wife and a pair of children in this city, which is said to be "full of gold". But when he came to Shenzhen, Luo Hongjun gradually found that he was less and less interested in doing business. The only thing he wanted to do was go to the streets and lanes to play erhu for strange listeners.

It's no shame to make a living by your own skills. As a result, Luo Hongjun officially began to play zither in the streets of Shenzhen. From Huaqiangbei, a land of wealth, to the Civic Center Square, which is full of cultural atmosphere, Luo Hongjun will go wherever there are many people. In his view, only when music reaches as many listeners as possible, can the musicians' performance be meaningful.

In Huaqiangbei, Luo Hongjun, a folk artist, played a sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

(Luo Hongjun performs on the streets of Shenzhen)

"Hu Qin is the quintessence of Chinese culture, and we should inherit it. When our children go to college, the world's parents will love it." On the turned up piano box, Luo Hongjun wrote these lines of characters with a brush, and there were notes of different denominations scattered in the box. During the performance, Luo Hongjun was often surrounded by listeners, including office workers, white haired old people, and mothers holding young children... They listened quietly, and the expression on their faces became fresh with the change of melody.

With his superb zither skills and deep qualifications, Luo Hongjun has become a little well-known street artist representative in Shenzhen. At that time, the neighborhood office in Shenzhen began to regulate street performances, and Luo Hongjun came forward as a representative to negotiate with the management department. "The street artists can provide spiritual and cultural products to the citizens, which should be supported by the grassroots." Luo Hongjun shed tears when talking about the bitter circumstances of those "guerrilla" vagabonds in the past.

In 2015, Shenzhen set an entrance examination for street artists, and those who passed the examination could perform in the designated area. In June of the same year, Luo Hongjun passed the examination and became one of the first batch of street artists to work with certificates. This also means that a large number of Shenzhen folk street artists, represented by Luo Hongjun, have a stage to perform.

Live broadcast room, gathering with 500000 bosom friends on the Internet "crossroads"

In 2020, the winter in Hubei will be bitterly cold, and the cold wind will blow on your face, leaving you nowhere to hide. Luo Hongjun, who returned home for the Spring Festival that year, was trapped in his hometown in Hubei by the sudden epidemic. He can't even leave his home, let alone go south to Shenzhen to perform? In the spirit of "no white broadcast, no broadcast", Luo Hongjun launched live broadcast in the Tiktok account @ Zuimei Erhu - Luo Hongjun.

In fact, Luo Hongjun contacted the live broadcast very early. Previously, when he was performing in the street, he occasionally turned on his mobile phone to have a live broadcast. But it is only in recent two years that this form is really taken as the norm of performance. If the streets of Shenzhen are his favorite offline stage, Luo Hongjun feels as if he is at the "crossroads" of the network every time he opens the studio. This stage is larger and more free.

At 7:30 every evening, Luo Hongjun will come to the live broadcast room on time and play different styles of music for netizens one by one in three hours. Among them, there are not only famous erhu songs such as Horse Racing and Rivers, but also new interpretations of popular music such as All the Way North and Myth. "Drunk" and "This is the true quintessence of Chinese culture", Luo Hongjun rarely responded directly to the praise of netizens, but focused on playing every note, expressing sincere thanks with melody.

In Huaqiangbei, Luo Hongjun, a folk artist, played a sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

With his superb skills and touching emotions, Luo Hongjun has attracted more than 500000 fans on Tiktok, while the praise and rewards of netizens have brought him more income than offline performances. Over the years, relying on offline performances and online live broadcast rewards, he not only provided for a couple of children to go to college, but also built a three story building in his hometown, so that his family could live a life of food and clothing.

Among the netizens who came to listen to Luo Hongjun playing erhu in the live broadcast room, there were both old fans who had heard him play on the streets of Shenzhen, and also new fans who broke into the live broadcast room accidentally. Luo Hongjun kept a restrained sense of alienation from them. Therefore, Luo Hongjun refused when a netizen offered to add his social account to make money for him every month. He enjoyed the pleasure of meeting friends from high mountains and flowing water, but he did not want to treat his performance as a quantifiable transaction. "No merit, no reward," he said.

67 years old, I still have dreams

In his 22nd year in Shenzhen, Luo Hongjun was 67 years old. In his hometown, it is high time for him to retire at such an age and enjoy the happiness at home. "Do you want to go back to your hometown?" Luo Hongjun asked himself repeatedly as he lay on the bed of a rented house in Shenzhen. The more he asked, the more unwilling he was.

"I still have a lot of things to do." Now, in addition to being the host, Luo Hongjun has also acted as an agent for the erhu teaching project of a Shenzhen University for the Elderly. In addition, there are many people who want to learn from their teachers. "I will accept the few who are very determined to learn." Most of the rest of the time, he used to practice the song "Two Springs Mirroring the Moon", which has the highest level in his mind.

In his early years, when Luo Hongjun was still performing in the street, an enthusiastic fan gave him an Erquan Qin that was specially used to play "The Moon Reflects from the Two Springs". Over the years, he has played the song many times on various occasions, but he has never reached the ideal state. "Some things not only need to practice skills, but also to practice self-cultivation", he made a special trip to visit Ah Bing's former residence in Wuxi. There, he told himself that in his life, even if he had exhausted his energy, experience and technology, he would play this piece of music that "best represents the aspirations of street artists".

In Huaqiangbei, Luo Hongjun, a folk artist, played a sweet and astringent erhu for half a lifetime

Because there is still a dream burning in his heart, Luo Hongjun does not plan to retire or leave Shenzhen. In this city where he has lived for more than 20 years, Luo Hongjun picked up his love of childhood and found his dream to pursue. Next, he longed to have a bigger stage and bring the beauty of erhu to more people.

In the evening, after a day of teaching, Luo Hongjun hurriedly got on the subway at the evening peak and hurried back to the rental house to prepare for the live broadcast at night. When the subway arrived at Huaqiangbei, a group of young people with musical instruments chirping on their backs crowded into the carriage. Looking at the fresh faces, Luo Hongjun felt that he was as young as the city.

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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