[MUSIC/Multicultural ~ SA]
Nexus Arts, Sat 22 Feb.
An Oriental Flair & San Ureshi was an interesting mix of East-meets-West presented at Nexus. San Ureshi is a three-piece group consisting of Zhao Liang (Guzheng), David Dai (Erhu) and Satomi Ohnishi (percussion). Today’s gig also featured a string quartet, other Guzheng players, a Liuqin (Chinese Mandolin) and from the Near East, a Daf (Persian percussion device).
While the trio created some traditional music, the additional instruments added considerable flavour and multi-cultural dimensions; truly a celebration of the creative and various cultures through music.
In terms of the songs, some were very famous Chinese pieces and some are original; a good balance. But on the arrangement, percussionist Satomi Ohnishi is listed as the arranger and has done a sterling job. The String Quartet was a delight to listen to, particularly weaving and dancing with the Erhu parts!
As a Chinese, listening to those familiar melodies made me nostalgic and brought me straight back home. For example, when I was listening to the song Bu Bu Gao, a very bright and happy song which is normally played during Chinese new year, I was expecting to hear the rhythm continue to the end. But, no. Surprisingly, and joyfully, some very strong percussion parts have been added in. In China, we have a word – Renao, which essentially means lively and bustling with excitement. We love it for its nice energy and spirit. Therefore, I love this cool ending very much. It captures our core values very well.
With respect the original songs presented, two songs in particular stood out. One was composed by Zhao Liang, using Erhu, guzheng and percussion. My impression of percussion is that it’s usually very loud, but in this song, Satomi’s playing was gentle and mysterious. It brought me back to ancient China and I could even imagine I was walking along the Silk Road.
Another one was Moment Of Reflection by Joel Ang. It has a great progression, taking the paths less travelled. It reflects high points and celebrations in Joel’s life and in the wider history, but it also has some gorgeous quieter moments as well. And as Joel said, it’s about living in the moment, and cherishing life itself.
Well done the whole team for presenting such an excellent show to us.
Xueqian Zhang & Clayton Werner
This article made available courtesy of Radio Adelaide.