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New take on traditional sounds

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-15 08:16

Jia Ran, Chinese pianist.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The most celebrated suona piece is Bai Niao Chao Feng (Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix), which imitates the sounds of different birds singing, showing the full potential of the instrument.

"It (Bai Niao Chao Feng) is such a festive piece that contemporary musicians often can't help but wonder if there is anything beyond this," says Hu.

Discussing the instrument, Hu says the sound that most people in China are familiar with is that of a soprano suona, but in fact the suona family consists of a series of instruments of different tones.

Hu also says that despite its long history in China, the suona originated somewhere outside.

"It traveled along the Silk Road into China," he says, adding that he has heard different music styles and performances on instruments related to the suona in the Middle East and India.

"The music is so rich and colorful, sometimes gentle and lyrical ... completely different from what you would expect," he says.

Separately, Hu says he wants to create a piece of music from the Silk Road.

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