Let "Rebound Pipa" walk out of the millennium mural and find the world expression of Chinese folk music

115 views · Organized by 赵锦辛 on 2022-11-10

In September 2016, at the art performance of the G20 Summit, she amazed the world with "Moonlight on the Spring River" and "Tea Picking Dance", and demonstrated the beauty of Chinese folk music with the nimble sound of the pipa. Her appearance added a touch of light to folk music and influenced a large number of musicians.

"The Central National Orchestra is my blessed land. I especially like to try new things." In the eyes of many people, Zhao Cong, who is enthusiastic, optimistic and unrestrained, is not a "good boy" who follows the rules. In her artistic philosophy, seeking new things is an eternal proposition. She does not want to subvert the tradition, but to interpret the beauty of oriental folk music in her own way. She said that our music can be very fashionable, and Chinese folk music can not give people the stereotype that it is only sunny and snowy.

"You can go through the ancient and modern times with your fingers, and you can be free without asking anything." This is Zhao Cong's motto. The first half of the sentence agrees with her artistic pursuit as a pipa performer, and the second half of the sentence is her distinctive concept in the promotion of national music after becoming the head of the Central National Orchestra. Innovation has become a special label on her. In her eyes, all the instruments in her hands are alive. She nourished them with sound, making the "rebound pipa" go out of the millennium mural and look for the world expression of Chinese folk music.

Modern expression of innovative folk music


National music, in many people's impression, is synonymous with tradition and elegance. Zhao Cong believes that China's national music has a profound tradition, but in the eyes of some young people, some of its contents are quite profound, "There is indeed a distance. We need to listen to young people, see what they like, and move them with their favorite ways and true feelings. At present, the national style of China-Chic is very influential among young people, which proves the attraction of our own culture, and at the same time, it also reminds us that we now have appropriate opportunities to lead young people into a broader and deeper space of Chinese culture.".

Zhao Cong is the matchmaker and participant of the modernization and international expression of folk music. Because of her and her peers' series of "cross-border" actions, more and more audiences at home and abroad begin to accept and love Chinese folk music. Zhao Cong said frankly that at the beginning of the promotion of Chinese folk music, he tried to learn the expression language and communication means of pop music, hoping to be recognized and loved by everyone.

Zhao Cong thought that the once unattainable symphony began to approach the public, because some creators insisted on the nationalization of symphony creation on the one hand, and boldly absorbed the writing skills of western symphony creation, including modern symphony creation, to create a number of symphony music works with high artistic standards. As a result, she has the confidence and strength to let Chinese folk music go to the world.

Zhao Cong believes that the combination of Chinese and Western music should not be just a simple "one plus one equals two". The new folk music is not just folk music plus electronic music, but not playing the "Radtsky March" with pipa and erhu. In the performance, the pipa, violin and jazz piano interlace each other, so that the pipa's individual vocabulary and the overall momentum of the western band can interact positively, and live in harmony with the band's "ensemble".

Speaking of the challenges faced by Chinese folk music on the road of internationalization, Zhao Cong said that there was even a shortage of works. However, she also found that many young composers began to grow up and became confident. "With good works, Chinese folk music will be better and better".

Representing the highest level of Chinese lute playing today, Zhao Cong has visited more than 50 countries and regions in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania, and has performed in important state events and overseas visits for many times. More than 40 foreign heads of state have listened to her. The Guardian commented: "Zhao Cong's perfect performance makes Chinese folk music full of hope." Zhao Cong told the world about the beauty of contemporary Chinese folk music with his pipa.

"Music has no borders." In the view of this "music ambassador" who promotes Chinese traditional music and culture, it is a good way to communicate with audiences around the world with folk music. "Music itself has surmounted the barriers of language, and our folk music is not only of its own characteristics, but also leading the world's folk music family in terms of intonation, organization and technology. In the future, our orchestra will continue to expand the modern expression of folk music while inheriting the tradition."

Let folk music radiate new charm in integrity and innovation


Zhao Cong's father is from Jilin and his mother is from Shanghai. They came together because they loved music and enjoyed each other. Zhao Cong was born in such a musical family with a mix of northern and southern cultures. He said that "I started to listen to my mother play the pipa when I was born, and I felt that the pipa was just like growing in my body". At the age of 6, she began to learn the pipa with her mother Sun Duoping. "My mother was my first teacher. When she was young, she was a drama actress. She was very smart. She taught herself the pipa, and she also played the piano and sang songs. In my heart, she combines the advantages of Chinese women, and is full of strength and optimism."

When her family named her "Zhao Cong", it implied the meaning of "hearing and seeing". Zhao Cong has a sister who is two years older than her. She learned violin and piano from her father when she was young. "At that time, everyone felt that learning western musical instruments was quite foreign." When Zhao Cong began to learn musical instruments at the age of 6, he said firmly, "I want to learn the pipa." For Zhao Cong's sake, his mother set up a "Little Snow Flower Art Troupe". "My mother recruited 10 students, and she always praised the child next to me. I was very worried, which aroused my desire to practice the piano well." Zhao Cong recalled, "Normally, I practiced for 6 hours. One day, I kept challenging myself and practiced for 10 hours." Zhao Cong has won many opportunities to take the stage since he was a child. He has won the first place in provincial and municipal competitions many times. "Many things are practiced on the stage, not in the piano room. Now I often ask my daughter to watch and listen more, cultivate interest, and educate her in the way my mother taught me."

When Zhao Cong recalled his childhood, he did not feel painful because of learning the pipa, but was happy because of it. "I think I may have been born for the pipa". This sense of fatalism from the inside out and the insistence on choosing one thing for life naturally turned the difficulties in learning the pipa into honey.

Pipa is a difficult instrument in folk music. It has a wide range of tones and many types of fingering. Playing it requires plucking, pressing, flexing, touching and other actions. When he learned the pipa in his early years, Zhao Cong had strong perseverance and insisted on training his finger sensitivity. "Ambush on Ten Sides" is an ancient song that she has been familiar with since she was seven or eight years old. More than 30 years later, she collaborated with the composer Ma Jiuyue for a new edition, accompanied by electronic music, combined with strong drums, and played the "Crystal Pipa" with her unique design to create an ancient style and new meaning, making the music world refreshing. Zhao Cong recalled: "The first performance was in Seoul, South Korea. Unexpectedly, the outdoor scene of more than 20,000 people was" High turned "."

As a child, Zhao Cong played Zhuan Rubik's Cube. What she did not expect was that when she grew up, she would repeat this "trick" in another way. Who said only the violin has transparent crystal material? Zhao Cong has created a crystal pipa. The fashionable coat makes the ancient musical instruments shine. Who said that the pipa can only be played honestly? Zhao Cong invented the "knapsack pipa", and tried to mix and match rock, rap, and various variations... Over the years, Zhao Cong has been thinking and innovating. The unique charm of the pipa and the style of western musical instruments make the music "Hi". The "Heaven and Earth Eternal Music · China Festival" concert jointly created by the Central National Orchestra and the Palace Museum, and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, broke the language boundary of music in the way of "cloud cooperation", and started an upsurge of Chinese national instruments.

Rebound Pipa, Dream Back to Dunhuang


In 2014, Zhao Cong was commissioned by the Central National Orchestra to create Flying on the Silk Road. In her impression, Dunhuang is gorgeous. "On the spot, I found that it was not like that. After thousands of years of washing, it was very mottled." In the dark caves of Mogao Grottoes, Zhao Cong followed the light of the guide's flashlight, felt the tremendous shock and moved by the flying sky in the Dunhuang murals, felt the time of shuttle, and seemed to be talking with ancestors. "When I wrote this work, I just had a sense of picture. One by one, the flying sky came alive." Zhao Cong said, "When writing music, close your eyes, let the melody and inspiration find me, and then record it." In addition, in this work, in addition to the use of classical fingering melodies, it also innovated the playing techniques, and carried out beneficial exploration and attempts in harmony structure and rhythm. After the completion of the pipa concerto, it was presented in front of the nine story tower in Dunhuang as a special performance to commemorate the 1650 year of Dunhuang. The music has a full sense of picture, as if you can see a flying woman holding the pipa, stepping on the colorful auspicious clouds, coming from the distant ancient times.

In the Dunhuang murals, the pipa as a musical instrument has appeared more than 600 times, and there are dozens of paintings holding the pipa and playing while dancing. The dance moves include holding the vertical bullet, swinging the arm horizontally, tilting the head, leaning backward, and bouncing back, especially the pipa, which is very difficult.

Due to the limitations of the pipa's weight and movement, the performer cannot rebound the pipa in a complete sense. At the 2022 CCTV Lantern Festival Gala, when Zhao Cong rebounded the pipa and slowly turned around, warm applause broke out in the program "Qitian Music" jointly performed by performers of the Central National Orchestra.

"Many people think that the beautiful image of the rebound pipa is just a dance shape, and that 'playing with real guns' may not be the truth of history, which just prompted me to challenge the idea." Zhao Cong said that in order to try to rebound the pipa, she insisted on practicing yoga for several months, and made her arms more flexible by constantly practicing shoulder opening. Zhao Cong also contacted Shanghai Dunhuang No. 1 National Musical Instrument Factory. According to the Dunhuang murals, he restored and made four pipas. He experimented with the timbre, shape, appearance, size and weight over and over again, and found the fulcrum of rebound in the clever design of the costume designer, making "impossible" possible step by step. Zhao Cong's wonderful performance vividly shows the people in the painting and makes them dream back to Dunhuang.

"Compared with western music, the repertoire of Chinese folk music is too few. What I want to write is not that simple music, but that there is a thick expression of Chinese culture." Zhao Cong said that many pieces have their own efforts, some colorful parts are written by themselves, and their artistic symbols are clearly reflected in them, hoping to leave more works for the pipa performance.

The magnificent turn of the new folk music leader


On February 3, 2021, Zhao Cong took the post of head of the Central National Orchestra. As the head of the Central National Orchestra, Zhao Cong's innovative ideas have been further reflected in the promotion of national music, and he has had many new thoughts on the development and exploration of folk music.

In 2021, Zhao Cong, who visited Sanxingdui Museum for the first time, was attracted by various cultural relics and had a strong desire to create. "What kind of history left us with such strange shapes and rich meanings? The ancient Shu Kingdom thousands of years ago left us too many puzzles, gave us huge space to explore, and inspired our endless imagination." In her view, the "blank" between history and imagination is the space that creators and performers can give full play to. She decided to create a musical work to pay tribute to history.

At the invitation of CCTV, Zhao Cong created the first meta universe concept music work "Sanxingdui · Divine Bird" to promote Sanxingdui culture × National Music Art × The diversified expression forms of the "meta universe concept music" present the charm of "Sanxingdui", the world cultural treasure, which passes through time and space. The work "Sanxingdui · Divine Birds" uses the unique pipa timbre and special sound effect skills after treatment to interweave the mystery and romance thousands of years ago, the fashion and cool thousands of years later, and outlines a historical illusion of flowing waves, so that the public can feel the new trend of interpretation of national music.

It is Zhao Cong who has been thinking and practicing how art and technology are possible. "We hope that we can use music to reproduce the mysterious scene four thousand years ago and bring everyone back to the distant ancient Shu Kingdom. We believe that everyone who hears of it will see different pictures based on their own experience, which is the charm of music." She plucked the heartstrings with her fingertips, traversed the ancient and modern times, and let the listener touch the context flowing for thousands of years with the synaesthesia of art.

"The Central National Orchestra pays attention to inheritance, and is also willing to embrace new things. The" out of the circle "of folk music can not be separated from integrity and innovation." Zhao Cong said that he never stopped learning from and absorbing nutrition from the excellent art tradition. As the representative of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Zhao Cong is well aware of her increasingly heavy responsibilities. She will keep her duties and missions in mind, devote more energy to the development of the field of folk music, devote herself to carrying forward and promoting Chinese folk music, create more masterpieces worthy of the times and the people, and hand over a satisfactory performance of her duties with hard work and hard work.

Involving the artist

The media commented on her: "Zhao Cong has become a music practitioner who persistently walks between classical and modern in the advancement of modern folk music." Hans Nielsen, the famous international recording master and chairman of the "Sound Asia" jury, commented on Zhao Cong as "a top performer with a first-class international performance level".
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Involving musical instruments

Pipa (pinyin: pí pa), the first plucked instrument, is a traditional plucked instrument in East Asia, a plucked stringed musical instrument. Made of wood or bamboo, the speaker is half-pear-shaped and has four strings on the top. It was originally made of silk thread, but now it is mostly made of steel wire, steel rope and nylon.

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