NEW YORK—For Margaux Brooks, executive film producer and veteran comedic actress, seeing Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Saturday night was an almost indescribable journey into the divine.
“My overall impression is that it is beyond anything I can put into words. It’s the most amazing, uplifting, spiritual journey into the divine through music combining traditionals of East and West,” said Brooks whose long list of acting credits includes 15 feature films, being a member of Saturday Night Live, and hosting shows for HBO with the late John Candy.
What makes Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra so unique is that it blends traditional Chinese instruments into a classical Western orchestra. The orchestra performs both original compositions arranged specifically for this orchestra, as well as Western classical pieces by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Leroy Anderson.
For the original works, the program notes give extensive explanations of the ancient themes Shen Yun draws upon, some dating back as far as creation. The music conveys ideas like “heavenly maidens preparing a tapestry of brilliant flowers for humankind,” while “thunderous drums” take us to the halls of a Han Dynasty (206 B.C.E.-220 C.E) imperial palace.
“I feel that the music somehow captures the spirit within your soul and takes you on a journey into the divine. Into what maybe you would call ‘The One,’” said Ms. Brooks.
“You transcend into a higher state of consciousness—that’s amazing.”
Ms. Brooks went on to effuse about the musicianship.
“The musicians … Everyone is absolutely divinely inspired, it seems.”
“The skill of the musicians is beyond the best, beyond anything imaginable—the best, precise, most divinely-inspired musicians I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“I have never seen anything that transcended me into this state of mind in this way.”
“Very unique, very joyous—unbelievable!”
Reporting by NTD Television and Cindy Drukier
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is on a seven-city tour with performances in Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, from Sept. 27–Oct. 22. For more information, visit Symphony.Shenyun.com