KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan—Majoring in tuba, Liao Weiqiang is a musician who has actively participated in several orchestras. After attending Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s third show in Kaohsiung on March 1, he noted, “The music composition and choreography are so wonderful, and the coordination of the dances and music is amazingly good. It is a remarkable achievement, and it is really great.”
Mr. Liao found it very interesting that the Shen Yun Orchestra seamlessly blends Eastern and Western musical instruments and that the interactions produce magnificent euphonic and audio experiences.
He explained, “It is not an easy task to blend Eastern and Western musical instruments to accompany the show live. Of course, when composing the music, the composer should have taken into account the distinct sensibilities of various music instruments, as Eastern and Western musical instruments differ in tones. This is something unique for Shen Yun, and I have never seen a performance like that. It is also proper to use traditional Chinese music to portray the personalities of some special roles.”
“Take the role of the Pigsy in the dance Sand Monk is Blessed for instance. The Pigsy’s personality is suitable to be presented by the sound of the Chinese instrument the suona. It seems that I cannot find any Western instruments that are suitable to present Pigsy’s special personality. With the orchestra composed of Eastern and Western musical instruments, I think the composer and the choreographer are able to have more room to explore and present the personality of the roles properly. That’s why I said that this [show] is very special,” he commended.
He further explained from his professional perspective, saying, “Eastern and Western musical instruments are very different. Take the suona and trumpet, for example. Their tones are very different. Since the suona’s tones are hard to control, it is very difficult to blend these two kinds of musical instruments. Regardless of composers or the orchestra’s members as a whole, it takes great efforts to achieve such a high level [of performance].”
“I was told that Shen Yun has an entirely new lineup of programs every year. It is a tremendous amount of work for composers to make arrangements for actor’s movements as well as the entire performance. As a result, composers and choreographers should work closely with each other. This is the area that I think Shen Yun is remarkable.”
“Despite these difficulties, I think they presented with ease on stage, whether it was turning or flipping. It seems to me that they performed very naturally. The orchestra’s performance sounds like the music played by a disc, as natural as human’s breathing. As to how they were trained to perform so wonderfully, I think it is very inspiring for me. I hope that I am able to reach a higher level just as what Shen Yun did.”
Enlightening to the connotation of the program, Mr. Liao said: “As Buddhas and gods have reincarnated to this human world to save sentient beings, we should cultivate ourselves to return to our original true selves. In fact, Buddhas and gods are very compassionate. As an ordinary people, we should cultivate, so that we can have a better future.”
In addition to teaching tuba, Liao Weiqiang also participates in various other kinds of performances. He has joined the National Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra and Chi Mei Orchestra. Last year, he was admitted to the Asian Youth Orchestra touring major cities in Asia.
Reporting by Reporters in Kaohsiung and Bill Xu.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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