Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra at the Esplanade Concert Hall

Super cool perk of Andrew's job at the gallery is that he sometimes gets invited to see some amazing cultural events. Earlier this week, we went to the Esplanade Concert Hall to see the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra. I had no idea what we were going to see... Andy had just emailed me earlier that day and told me to meet him at the gallery at 6pm. I knew it was an orchestra but didn't know the background at all. Turned out to be an outstanding night listening to a world renowned orchestra playing Tchaikovsky, modern Chinese composed violin concerto and literally a "Symphonic Epic" about the Hakka folk people who live in western Fujian province of China.

It was fun to hear Tchaikovsky played well (it also reminded me of the movie Three Amigos! with its uptempo beat and staccato tambourines that sounded like galloping horses.) The second violin concerto "Butterfly Lovers" by He Zhanhao & Chen Gang was as moving as a grand Chinese dramatic movie (those historic ones that the protagonist heroically dies at the end.) The most interesting part was seeing how these classically train musicians incorporated traditional Hakka folk music. The second half of the performance was an epic symphony written to show the proud culture of the Hakka: "The Echoes of Hakka's Earth Buildings" by Liu Yuan. There was a traditional Hakka folk singer that used these cool stick percussion instruments. There was also a really neat folk musician who used a leaf as an instrument! It sounded like a high pitched kazoo! I was so excited seeing this and nudged Andy because he knows of my love of kazoos!
Hakka folk musician aka The Leaf Blower! (image from PianoMania)













To cap off the night, we went to the Makansutra aka Gluttons' Bay hawker centre that's located right outside of the Esplanade. Tons of delish food but what caught my eye was this huge slab of deep fried pork belly Filipino style! mmmmm... bacon.
Roasted Lechon Kawali or in my eyes "OH YEEAH. IT'S A DEEP FRIED SLAB O' BACON!" (image from googled from another blog)

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