One week left before Chime Geneva is on...
There's something for everyone in this year's programme. Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc will be right around the corner, perhaps a trifle cold for this time of the year, but you may catch them on camera...
We have a busy day schedule with many parallel sessions, but we will keep the mornings free for plenary sessions, and that there will be more music making, more esteemed guest lecturers and more generous participation from Chinese musicians in concerts this time than at many previous CHIME meetings.
We are proud to host Pulitzer-prize winning composer Zhou Long (America) as one of our keynote speakers, and to welcome in our meeting also several of his prominent fellow countrymen, including Wang Ying, and Lam Bun-ching. They will present lectures of their own or join panels, and we will hear live music composed by a number of them. How do composers' perspectives vary, if based in Germany, in Paris, in the United States, or on native Chinese soil? Guo Wenjing has his own inimitable points to make, as will become clear in a splendid new documentary film The Inner Landscape, shot by master cineast Frank Scheffer (who previously made films on Tan Dun, John Cage, Pierre Boulez, Elliot Carter, K.H. Stockhausen and many others).
Naturally, this conference, although it is called 'The New face of Chinese Music', will not solely be about 'avant-garde'. We take in the entire range of musical styles and entourages available in China today, from rural folk song to pop, from opera to film music, from rituals to rock, and will open the floor to critical voices and to an open discussion on musical education and concert life in China today.
A lot of what is happening in Chinese music must be called 'new', even if it is firmly anchored in tradition. Some of it is not so 'new', in spite of firm aspirations to be innovative. And then again, some of it is quietly pioneering, while going on almost unnoticed, except by a happy few...
How should we assess the experiments of rural shawm band Yi Jia Ren from Henan and Shanbei, whose players combine local funeral processions at home with poppy gigs at concert stages abroad? How is the venerable nanyin style of singer/pipaist Cai Yayi and her group from Quanzhou developing, in a rapidly changing urban society?
Come and listen to these musicians in Geneva, chat with them to hear their views – and enjoy the music.
What are the adventurous paths, which some contemporary players of the guqin, the classical Chinese zither, such as Tse Chun Yan from Hong Hong Kong take? Where is a refined pipa player like Yu Lingling heading, who appears to be equaly well at home in classical repertoire as in avant-garde and 'funk' experiments? Judge for yourself, when you check out these artists' performances in Geneva!
Pianist François Xavier Poizat and instrumentalists of the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève will offer challenging sound bites in the realm of Chinese chamber and piano solo music. So is there a future for Chinese music within the sound compass of Western instruments? And what about music education? What is right, what is not so right in this realm? What sort of ideas and methods are currently being explored to advance and improve Chinese music teaching?
All this, and more will be part of the programme of the 19th Chime meeting in Geneva. Expect to see numerous short film clips during the conference which will address controversial issues in music, introduce views from experts, many of whom could not make it to this meeting in person, but their voices will be heard all the same via video interviews, especially arranged for this meeting.
Online registration for Geneva is still up at www.chime2015.org.
The dates are 21 to 25 October, 2015, the location is the Haute école de musique de Genève. The event will be hosted by the Geneva conservatory in cooperation with the Confucius Institute of the University of Geneva.
Book and CD display
As in previous years, we will organize a display corner in Geneva for books, CDs, DVDs and other recent publications in the realm of Chinese music. Bring your products if you would like to share them with colleagues! A new activity is a short session in which speakers can introduce their new books or AV materials in short pitches.
Participants are encouraged to bring Chinese instruments and to join jam sessions of silk and bamboo music and other genres, for which we will create ample space.