Vancouver’s Sound of Dragon Ensemble prepares to welcome special guests, the Ding Yi Music Company from Singapore for its upcoming concert, Rising Dragon, Soaring Merlion, on May 26 at The Annex. The groups will perform a program of music written for the combination of Chinese and Western instruments by Canadian, Singaporean, and Chinese composers. This concert is the Canadian Debut for Ding Yi Music Company, Singapore’s prestigious Chinese chamber ensemble. Internationally acclaimed conductor Chih Sheng Chen from Taiwan, and Ding Yi’s conductor Dedric De Li Wong will share the podium to lead the ensembles.
While the dragon represents Asian heritage, the merlion, a mythical creature with a lion head and fish body, is a symbol for Singapore, referring to the city’s origin as a fishing village and its original name — Singapura, meaning lion city. Rising Dragon, Soaring Merlion is the meeting of two world-class chamber ensembles of Chinese roots from Vancouver and Singapore.
The concert offers audiences a program, referencing mythology, topical cultural references and history, performed by the joined force of the two ensembles.
Alice Ping Yee Ho‘s dramatic “Four Dragons” draws on an ancient tale deeply rooted in Chinese mythology, folklore, and culture. The four dragons in the Eastern Sea scooped up sea water and sprayed rain from heaven to save people from a drought. Then they turned themselves into four rivers – Black Dragon River, Yellow River, Yantze River, and Pearl River, to nurture the people on this land. Farshid Samandari‘s “sine verbis” symbolizes the effort to communicate against various types of censorship. Moshe Denburg‘s “Ocean of Tears” is a sonic picture of sadness and reflection written during the pandemic. Jordan Nobles‘ “Foreign Oceans” depicts an imagined underwater world. Jian Min Wang‘s Dream of Angels is a quintet of Chinese instruments. The thought-provoking melody depicts the graceful movements of a female dancer. Nixia Li’s The Seven Sages refers to China’s seven scholars from 200 A.D. They were known to gather in the bamboo forest to sing, play musical instruments, and recite poetry that criticized the government. Chenwei Wang‘s “Winds of Affinity” is a double concerto featuring Ding Yi dizi soloist Ng Hsien Han and Sound of Dragon flutist Paolo Bortolussi. The piece depicts an encounter between two musicians whose friendship gradually blossoms. Chenyao Li’s The Allegory speaks of the passing of time, history, and personal stories.
Rising Dragon, Soaring Merlion: Sound of Dragon Ensemble & Ding Yi Music Company takes place Friday, May 26, 2023 at The Annex, 823 Seymour Street. A pre-concert talk with Dedric De Li Wong (Ding Yi conductor) and Alice Ping Yee Ho (composer) takes place at 7pm before the 8pm concert. Tickets are available online soundofdragon.com