The word “music” comes from the Greek language, meaning “the art of muses”. As a form of art where the medium is sound, this “art of muses” crosses all cultures with impunity, although it wasn’t always so. During the Renaissance the Augmented 4th chord was called “diabolus in musica” or “chord of the devil” and was banned by the church. More recently, let’s not forget the beginnings of rock and roll and its controversial introduction into the mainstream. We have obviously matured in our acceptance of all music but our cultural preferences, one of the byproducts of the strength of music in culture, still sometimes holds us back from the enrichment of a newly introduced sound coming from afar.
Music enthusiasts in the city all know of the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival coming up next month with entertainers like Jill Barber and Bobby McFerrin. This rich contribution by African-Americans originated well over a hundred years ago in the United States and further redefined itself over time via American Country, Brazilian Bossa Nova and European classical music, just to name a few of the influences which make it what we hear today.
Yet another festival happening this month, as diverse in musical styles as any of our present festivals, is the Sound of Dragon Music Festival. This cross cultural festival originating with Chinese music seeks to accomplish two goals: preserve heritage, not just Chinese, as well as embracing innovation as you will see for yourself when attending some of the no fewer than 18 concerts from traditional Chinese music and many more of our unique musical genres.
The Sound of Dragon Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Jazz Festival or even the seasonal regularity of the Vancouver Symphony are all a wonderful mix of cultural values and emotions originating in one place, and ending up in many others; sometimes the same and sometimes just a little different, but certainly something to muse about. ■

Harry van Hemmen, Publisher
Boulevard Chinese magazine

溫哥華擁有依山傍水、得天獨厚的地理環境,近年來更以亞洲美食及和諧的多元族裔社會馳名於世界。但是溫哥華還有一項並非人人都注意到的成就,那就是華裔音樂的蓬勃發展,在亞洲以外的世界各大城市中首屈一指。在音樂家們多年的努力與多元文化的薰陶下,溫哥華的華樂已打破傳統定義,另成新的風格。這一點在即將舉辦的「龍吟滄海音樂節」中將徹底的展現。
將於2014年5月9至11日假圓屋社區中心(Roundhouse Community Centre)舉辦的「龍吟滄海音樂節」,稟持承襲傳統、追求創新的精神,展現華人傳統樂器的多元風貌。東、西樂器同台獻藝,演繹傳統民俗和古典樂、當代原創作品、爵士樂、世界音樂、即興實驗音樂等,在保存、宣揚傳統文化精髓的同時,也改變一般民眾對傳統樂器的刻版印象。
「龍吟滄海音樂節」是溫哥華華裔音樂社群第一次的大集合。然而,溫哥華能成為華樂在西方的重鎮,靠的不僅僅是台上的演奏者,作曲家、台下的觀眾、幕後的製作團隊、音樂老師及學生們,都是這個社群的一份子。他們來自不同的族裔和音樂背景,憑藉著對音樂的喜愛與熱忱,把他們聯繫在一起。
「龍吟滄海音樂節」將於三天中獻上18場音樂會,溫哥華的音樂家們將輪番上陣,其中跨文化組合包括蘭韻中樂團、溫哥華跨文化管弦樂團、BC中樂團與UBC現代室內樂團的合作、涵蓋絲路多種彈撥樂器的大世界樂隊、董籃的Proliferasian爵士樂隊、戎峻的二胡與豎琴重奏、于志敏的阮咸與吉他重奏、李歌的二胡與鋼琴重奏;純中樂器組合包括溫哥華中樂團、宋雲江革鈴二胡彈撥樂重奏;獨奏包括常青三弦、呂畇初笛子及久違溫哥華舞台的古箏大師項斯華,並有指揮家張進帶領的華藝合唱團。此外,台灣的小巨人絲竹樂團將率領十餘人室內樂隊,演出亞洲近年的華樂作品;旅美台灣演奏家王于真將首演三首全新的古箏獨奏曲,包括古箏與電子音樂;多倫多作曲家李佩鳴將於母親節當晚,透過鋼琴演奏來紀念她的母親-許佩老師(50至80年代曾是香港眾多著名歌星的聲樂指導)。
除音樂會外,音樂節還有各式各樣的免費推廣活動:民族樂器示範、音樂講座、工作坊、影片播放、互動式多媒體展覽、影音播放室等。並設有「樂器遊樂園」,讓民眾有機會近距離的觀賞各種樂器,聆聽音樂家們的介紹,並且親自嘗試樂器操作。自5月1日起,一連串的推廣活動也將於大溫各地區展開,詳情請查詢官網:soundofdragon.com

Lan Tung, Artistic Director
Sound of Dragon Music Festival