Musician Paul Arnold Enjoys Chinese Instruments in Shen Yun Orchestra
OTTAWA, Canada—As a multi-instrument musician, conductor, composer, and singer, Paul Arnold is intimately familiar with music.
After seeing the Shen Yun matinee at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on Saturday, he said, “I thought it was quite a visual spectacle as well as with the music. It was nice having the Western as well as the Chinese erhu and pipa instruments.”
The Shen Yun Orchestra combines traditional Western instruments and Chinese instruments to produce its unique sound. Mr. Arnold was especially taken with the resulting euphonious sounds of the pieces.
“I enjoyed the pipa, the erhu, I think it has a very unique sound and I like how it intermixes with the stringed instruments of the orchestra,” he said.
The Shen Yun website describes the sound produced by the instrumentation as, “A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies. The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear. The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.”
Mr. Arnold said he enjoyed the orchestra, as the music and musicianship “show up the versatility of the very talented musicians.”
The Shen Yun productions are reviving the ancient Chinese culture that has survived for 5,000 years. In addition to the music there are interpretations of ancient legends and ethnic dances expressed in pieces that feature athletic male and female performers.
Of the solo erhu piece titled “Fulfilling Vows,” Mr. Arnold said: “I enjoyed the faster runs and especially the soloist too that was on stage. I thought it was a beautiful piece that she performed.”
In addition to being the musical director of the Gananoque Choral Society, Mr. Arnold plays the cello, piano, and classical guitar. He has also recorded and produced four CDs of his original compositions.
To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa in 2007, renowned Canadian guitarist Daniel Bolshoy premiered Mr. Arnold’s Rideau Waterway Guitar Suite.
Reporting by Fu Ming and Pamela McLennan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts. Shen Yun’s World Company finished in Ottawa on Saturday and will now go on to perform in Montreal.