Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Archaic music restored at Mogao Grottoes

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By CCTV correspondent Stanley Lee
The Mogao Grottoes in North West China are a treasure trove of cultural wonders. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. Many of these works depict people playing instruments, and now archaeologists and performers have brought these images to life.
The sound of music from more than a thousand years ago. These instruments have been recreated from frescoes on the cave walls here at the Mogao Grottoes.
Archaic music restored at Mogao Grottoes
Located near the city of Dunhuang on the Silk Road, the site comprises of nearly 500 caves. Around half of the caves contain depictions of people playing instruments, amounting to over four thousand. And now the sounds of these instruments can be heard with your very own ears.
"We were loyal to the original designs depicted on the walls of the caves, but we enlarged the instruments to life-size to be played by musicians." said Yang Yibing, Deputy Director, Gansu Dance, Drama & Opera Ensemble.
After years of extensive work and research, the Gansu Dance, Drama and Opera Ensemble finally brought the instruments to life on stage.
They even transposed scores, found centuries ago in the caves, into modern ones. But the work has still required a lot of practice.
"The entire piece is very different compared with modern music. Especially the pauses; it’s easy for us to flip back into a modern rhythm but that would be wrong. So the whole thing is unlike anything we’ve ever played." said Musician.
But after persistent efforts, the ensemble finally managed to recreate an entire ancient band. The show is called "The Music and drama of Dunhuang" and is considered to be an interactive way of continuing Dunhuang’s ancient traditions.
Archaic music restored at Mogao Grottoes

1 comment:

JoannofHtown said...

So exciting! I am sure that this work will bring greater meaning and depth to the purpose of Music and the Great contribution this era gave to Humanity. I commend all those who have worked to bring this to light.