HCM CITY The rare art of overtone singing and playing of rhythms with spoons entranced the audience in HCM City as Prof Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen returned to their native land after almost five decades.
Hai is the son of Dr Tran Van Khe, the renowned expert on traditional music, who organised the traditional music concert featuring his son and daughter-in-law at his house earlier this week.
For more than two hours, Hai and his wife treated Vietnamese classical music lovers to a wide repertoire that emphasised the art of overtone singing and the Jew s harp.
"I spent many years practicing overtone singing," Hai said. Overtone singing is a technique with which a single human voice can simultaneously produce two or more clearly audible tones.
A highlight of the evening was Hai s playing of spoons. "I started playing spoons when I was only five years old," the 65-year-old Hai said.
The three spoons in his hands produced complex rhythms as he skilfully hit them together or against the back of his hands, his arms or knees and even on his teeth.
The spoon music accompanied Yen s beautiful renditions of several folk songs.
Hai was honoured the "The King of Spoons" at an International Music Festival in the United Kingdom in 1967.
Born in 1944, Hai left Viet Nam for France in 1961. He studied music at Sorbonne University. Since 1968, he has worked at the Museum of Mankind in Paris and taught Asian traditional music at many universities in the world.
Encouraged by his father, he has spent many years researching Vietnamese traditional music. Hai owns a great number of traditional musical instruments from Viet Nam and many other countries.
Along with his wife, Hai has performed in over 3,000 concerts featuring Vietnamese traditional music in 65 countries around the world over the past 40 years. VNS