CHICAGO—”I loved it,” said Richard Bowen of Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra. “The Western pieces were done beautifully. I mean, this is as good “A Carnival Overture” as I’ve ever heard. So, yeah, I’m very pleased.”
He had just attended the Chicago Symphony Center Orchestra Hall for a single performance of Shen Yun on Oct. 21.
Shen Yun combines both Chinese and Western instruments to create a fresh sound with many original compositions. It also adds Western repertoire to each concert.
“The music was lovely. The Chinese pieces were just lovely,” he said. Mr. Bowen teaches psychology at Loyola University–Chicago, specializing in visual perception.
“I just love the music. I love classical music in general, but this a great treat,” he said. “I also like the musical scale, the tonality, the Eastern versus Western.”
“I’m getting chills up my spine,” he said. “Very uplifting. … My hairs are standing up. I think the Asian pieces, the Chinese pieces are so lovely and also kind of soothing.”
He read the program notes about one of the original pieces, “The Steadfast Lotus,” which tells the story of a mother and daughter separated by the Chinese Communist party. He could hear the story in the music. “I do think the Chinese pieces tell more of a story, perhaps. You know, it’s not the same in Western music. “
He picked out the erhu, a Chinese two-stringed violin, and explained that he thought some of the phrasing was different for Chinese instruments.
“Those ladies were just wonderful.” He said about the erhu players. “But, there’s like a piccolo in the background I think, or a flute. It’s very provocative.”
“I just think it’s very soothing, very uplifting,” he said, wondering about other Chinese traditional instruments.
The 2014 Shen Yun Orchestra tour encompasses seven cities, with two cities remaining with Miami, on Oct. 25, and Sarasota, on Oct. 27.
Reporting by Ying Wan and Sharon Kilarski
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time.
The orchestra’s North American tour runs through Oct. 27. For more information, visit http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/symphony