I was happily surprised when I opened up the October issue of The Wire to see Hanoi as the featured city in this month’s Global Ear column. The Wire is a modern music magazine that anyone who has stumbled across this site likely knows about already so I won’t launch into an explanation about why it’s among my favorite three publications in the aggregated history of my experience interacting with the magazine format.
The column focuses on several musicians who live and perform in Hanoi, including Vu Nhat Tan, a composer, noise musician and professor at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music, and Son-x, who makes use of a variety of indigenous instruments mixed with domestic music samples. A number of other Hanoi musicians are included as well, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing/hearing them perform.
The Wire has made several tracks by these artists available to stream from their website here, they are well worth a listen.
CAMA-ATK will be hosting a regular experimental music evening every last Thursday of the month starting this week on 27 Sept. The Vu Nhat Tan Group will be performing and I’ll be there with eyes and ears wide open. I’m excited to finally hear and see firsthand the noise and improv scene here in Hanoi. After years of attending shows and performing in Beijing, I have spent much of my first year in Hanoi focusing on the day job. Now that this occupational and residential “transition period” is over I’m keen to jump into the scene and start attending shows, not to mention taking my own noise out of the bedroom and onto a stage (of sorts … I won’t be going too far at first. The Hanoise Garage Concert Series I’m planning on launching soon will require me to venture exactly as far as the number of steps it takes to get down to my garage on the first floor, but all that’s for another post on another day.)
In addition to the monthly night at CAMA ATK, which I will undoubtedly attend regularly, I am particularly excited to scope out when the next Hanoi SoundStuff festival will take place (seemingly in Spring 2013). I don’t know how I missed its last incarnation in April of this year (or even its existence until now – I must have been asleep at the wheel in April!), but discovering that a festival such as this exists in Hanoi feels like a warm, comfortable blanket being pulled over me in bed on a cold night. Founder Tri Minh’s (also featured in the Global Ear article) own improv music, comprised of urban environmental soundscapes, sounds particularly up jrg_one’s alley! I have been diving into what material of his is available online here and here and am feeling very inspired by it all. Many of the field recordings I’ve collected over the years have sat waiting for me to do something with. I think it’s about time.
Finally, I need to track down the album Hanoi Soundscape, featuring most if not all of the musicians detailed above. Hopefully there will be copies available at CAMA ATK on Thursday. I’m guessing the album arose from this show (or is at least linked to it since it features the same artists). Sounds amazing, I hope another performance like this comes along soon.
Keep on listening to the sounds around you – and the sounds underneath those sounds. I know I will.