Shen Yun ‘An Amazing Experience,’ Says Sony Music Coordinator

October 16, 2015

MIAMI—Harmony of East and West, divine gifts of melody, a resurrected culture … The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra enriches the senses, exalting notions of music to unexpected heights.

Unfurling its blend of Chinese musical tradition and melody rooted in 5,000 years of culture and the exacting techniques of Western orchestration, Shen Yun stayed true to form on Thursday, Oct. 15, when it performed at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center.

“The performance, the quality of the musicians, everything—from the vocalist’s performance to everybody—such a high level,” said Daniel Restrepo, an A&R coordinator for Sony Music. “I think it was simply amazing.”

For Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, each layer of music—be it the strum or pluck of an instrument, each syllable of a bel canto lyric, or the complex interplay of tonality between vastly different instruments—is an opportunity for its listeners to perceive an instant of audible sacredness.

According to Shen Yun’s website, “Behind all of Shen Yun’s music lies the belief that, like many enduring traditions, both classical Western and Chinese music are truly divine gifts.”

Daniel Restrepo was amazed at Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra's concert at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center, on Oct. 15, 2015. (Jada Yeung/Epoch Times)
Daniel Restrepo was amazed at Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s concert at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center, on Oct. 15, 2015. (Jada Yeung/Epoch Times)

“This is music that you literally sit down, and you focus on it, and you absorb it,” Mr. Restrepo added. “It’s so complex, but at the same time, it’s so easy to understand for your ear.”

As a classical guitar player, Mr. Restrepo said he took special note of the sheer mastery of Shen Yun’s performers. Audience members “can just sit down and listen to the talent of the musicians.” “This was definitely an amazing experience, and I hope to attend future shows,” he said.

An outstanding feature of Shen Yun is its dual use of both Chinese and Western instruments. For example, Chinese melodic instruments—like the plucked pipa and the 4,000-year-old erhu—swim through the harmonic progressions sustained by traditional Western orchestral pieces.

Hence, such an arrangement creates “a profound musical experience that resonates deep in the heart,” the Shen Yun website reads. This aspect, in particular, struck Mr. Restrepo right away.

“We’re accustomed to hearing certain cellos, basses, and violins, but when the Chinese instruments come in, it’s amazing,” he said. “It immediately takes a completely different identity … and their interpretation gives a characteristic to the pieces that it has a trademark, so to speak.”

In terms of each instrument’s individual liveliness and clarity, he added, “You could really hear certain lines, and I think that it’s amazing that you feel like you’re living a movie just by listening to it.

“So for me, that is totally mind-blowing.”

Mr. Restrepo said that Shen Yun raises one’s awareness of China’s ancient culture, its traditional art and music. “First of all,” he said, “more people need to get involved for the awareness part of it, and at the same time, it’s something that you have to experience for yourself, to get those feelings that I was talking about.”

“It’s something that everybody should come and experience,” he added. “And as a person involved in the music industry, I think it’s my duty to spread the awesomeness of the music.”

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra continues its tour with a performance on Oct. 18 at the Chicago Symphony Center in Chicago and on Oct. 21 at the Boston Symphony Hall in Boston. For information about the orchestra’s October performances, visit ShenYun.com/Symphony.

Reporting by Jada Yeung and Michael Fitzgerald

New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Shen Yun Performing Arts begins its 2016 world tour on Dec. 22, 2015.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.