BBC TV : Phỏng vấn nhạc sư Vĩnh Bảo /Mất văn hóa, dễ mất nước’, UK


Mất văn hóa, dễ mất nước’

Cập nhật: 08:12 GMT – thứ hai, 19 tháng 8, 2013

Nhạc sư Vĩnh Bảo, năm nay 96 tuổi, là một trong những nghệ nhân cao tuổi nhất trong dòng nhạc Tài tử Nam Bộ.

Món nhạc cụ đầu tiên mà ông chạm tay tới khi mới lên 5 tuổi là chiếc tiêu.

Âm nhạc là truyền thống được trân trọng trong gia đình ông, một gia đình địa chủ thời những năm 1910.

Nghệ sỹ Vĩnh Bảo lần đầu tiên ghi đĩa nhạc năm 1938 và trở thành thầy giáo dạy nhạc truyền thống ở Việt Nam.

Ông cho rằng, phần lớn người Việt Nam thích nghe nhạc buồn, có lẽ vì lịch sử chiến tranh kéo dài của đất nước.

Là nhân chứng qua hai cuộc chiến với Pháp và Mỹ, ông vẫn liên tục chơi đàn qua mọi thời kỳ và hoàn cảnh, vì khi đàn “nó cho tôi đến gần với thiền”, ông nói.

Ông khuyên giới trẻ nên hiểu rằng, “đánh địch trên chiến trường tuy khó khăn, gian nan, nhưng dễ hơn mặt trận văn hóa. Mà một dân tộc mất đi văn hóa của mình thì mất nước dễ dàng lắm.”

Phỏng vấn tại Việt Nam do nhà báo Justin Rowlatt thực hiện cho chương trình Working Lives của BBC. Đây là một phần của loạt chương trình về Việt Nam trên truyền hình và trang web BBC trong tháng Tám năm 2013.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/vietnamese/multimedia/2013/08/130815_vinh_bao_musician_working_lives_video.shtml

JUSTIN ROWLATT (BBC WORLD SERVICE) :The 95-year-old keeping traditional Vietnamese music alive


The 95-year-old keeping traditional Vietnamese music alive

By Justin Rowlatt BBC World Service, Vietnam

Vinh Bao

Vietnam’s Music of the Amateurs has been likened to Western Chamber music. Fans of the traditional Asian art form describe its beauty and subtlety – attributes which Justin Rowlatt found difficult to appreciate, until he met its leading exponent.

It is quite rare to get an audience with Vinh Bao.

The 95-year-old is reckoned to be one of the greatest of the country’s traditional musicians and the guardian of a form of Vietnamese music called Nhac Tai Tu Nam Bo – or the Music of the Amateurs.

He is not so mobile now, so it is his daughter who meets me at the door of his small house in a back street of Ho Chi Minh City. She leads me up to his tiny music room on the first floor.

The maestro is sitting on the floor. He is a small, slight man with a sweeping mane of white hair and a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. It quickly becomes clear he has not lost any of his sharpness or wit.

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From Our Own Correspondent

Instruments in a shop in Hanoi
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He gestures to a strange instrument beside him and offers to play. I am surprised to detect the hint of a challenge.

He has told me this is his favourite instrument, the dan tranh, or Vietnamese zither. It is certainly a beautiful thing. The zither is made of polished blonde wood. It is about a metre long and 15cm wide. The surface is convex and it has 17 strings, each supported by two wooden bridges.

The old man bends over the instrument and begins to pluck with one hand while the other presses and bends the strings. His hands move surprisingly swiftly and precisely. But the result is not what I expect.

I hear an almost random cascade of sound. There is little rhythm and many of the notes sound – to my ear at least – distinctly out of tune. As he finishes I nod uncomfortably and try to smile appreciatively. I think he realises I have found the music difficult.

 

“You have to forget the idea of absolute pitch,” he explains. He tells me Vietnamese musicians tune the instruments as they see fit or according to the vocal range of singers who accompany them.

Vietnamese music is a product of the tonal nature of the Vietnamese language. A word with a high rising tone cannot be sung with a falling melody, and vice versa. So melodic forms have developed that allow improvised changes of notes to fit the tones of the words used.

He says that is why there is such an emphasis on what he calls “ornamentation”, on bending and embellishing the note – another reason traditional music often appears “out of tune” to the Western ear.

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Music of the amateurs

This type of music is “a highly bourgeois evolved art form… whose beauty lies in an extremely subtle and melodic style.

“Although comparable to Western Chamber music, [it] is of a strictly private nature to be heard by a small audience and practiced by professional or semi-professional people as hobby for their own enjoyment.”

From Introduction to Vietnamese music, by Nguyen Vinh Bao.

“That is why it has been so difficult to keep the Nhac Tai Tu Nam Bo form alive,” he says, clearly frustrated. “The West displays to the Vietnamese young people its flawless instruments, its accurate notation, its varied repertoire, its orchestration, and its disciplined orchestras,” says Vinh Bao.

“It is hard to get them interested in old-fashioned instruments,” he tells me, sweeping a hand towards the collection that adorns the walls of the small room.

There are examples of dan nguyet, the “two-stringed moon-shaped lute”; the dan bau – a one-stringed instrument which has a buffalo-horn rod to bend the notes like a Hawaiian guitar; and the dan gao, the “coconut viola”.

“Young people have tended to see Vietnamese music as a clumsy old lady, as old-fashioned,” he sighs. But he warns darkly: “A nation that loses its culture will number its days before losing its entire nation.”

Given his age and what he has said I am anxious when I ask him about the future. But to my surprise he breaks into a big smile and gestures towards a computer on the table behind him. I notice an expensive digital recording device beside it.

“I have more students than ever,” he says with obvious pride. “I have got pupils all over the world.” It seems Vinh Bao has been learning how to recruit the latest technology in his battle to preserve Vietnam’s musical legacy.

He says he has recorded many of the classic Nhac Tai Tu Nam Bo melodies and, as well as teaching people in person, he now gives lessons over Skype. In fact, he says, our interview has overrun and he is due to give a lesson right now. I accept his offer to stay and watch.

Vinh Bao playing the Vietnamese zither

The nonagenarian is as deft with a computer keyboard as with a coconut viola. A few moments later he is chatting with a Vietnamese-American woman in Texas and the zither lesson has begun.

My translator had told me Vinh Bao’s music is so delicate and mournful it moves her to tears – so now I understand it a bit better I am keen to give it a second chance. Vinh Bao bends over his instrument and plays once again.

This time I think I discern a purpose among what had seemed a jumble of random sounds. The music may be challenging but the way this old man has harnessed modern technology to preserve the tradition he loves is truly impressive.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23795983

BBC RADIO 3 WORLD ROUTE : TRAN QUANG HAI IN SAIGON , UK 2003


 

Image for Tran Quang Hai in Saigon

Tran Quang Hai in Saigon

Availability:
over a year left to play
Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 04 January 2003

Lucy and her guides, Vietnamese musicians, Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen, are in Saigon –the first time these two musicians have stepped back into the city of their birth after 41 years in exile. Along the way, she hears ritual music played on two drums, representing Yin and Yang. She also meets Bach Yen, and discovers more about his return to Saigon after being in exile and how she is affected by the melodies of ritual music she last heard as a child.

Music and featured items

23 items

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Music Played


    • Bach Yen Au o vi dan (Trad)

  • Lucy and her guides in Saigon.

    Lucy and her guides, Vietnamese musicians, Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen, visit Saigon.

  • Music Played


    • Nyat Dung Dan Gao Improvisation


    • Nyat Dung Bong Ba Bong tu – fiddle version (trad)

  • Ritual music played on drums.

    Lucy hears ritual music played on two drums, representing Yin and Yang.

  • Music Played


    • Nyat Dung and his group Untitled percussion piece (trad)


    • Nyat Dung and his group Bong Ba Bong tu – oboe version (Trad)

  • Bach Yen returns to Saigon.

    Lucy talks to Bach Yen about returning to Saigon after being in exile.

  • Music Played


    • Minh Vuong/Le Thuy Xe hoa cach biet (Trad)

  • French influenced music.

    Lucy learns how her guide’s exile in France influenced his musical style.

  • Music Played


    • Thanh Long Ai ve Song Tuong


    • Hai Phuong Binh Ban Van (Trad)

  • Pre-war Vietnam music

    Lucy visits a club which specialises in music from the time before the Vietnam War.

  • Music Played


    • Hai Phuong and Thuy Hoan Beo dat may troi (Trad)

  • 17 stringed zither

    Lucy hears the music of the 17 stringed zither played by virtuoso Hai Phuong.

  • Music Played


    • Hai Phuong and Thuy Hoan Qua can gio bay (Trad)


    • Hai Phuong Ly lu la (Trad)

  • Vietnam cuisine

    Lucy discovers more about Vietnam cuisine including frogs’ legs and dog meat.

  • Music Played


    • Hai Phuong Untitled Bamboo Song

  • Tran Quong Hai interview

    Lucy chats with Tran Quong Hai after 41 years of exile.

  • Music Played


    • Hai Phuong Arrival of Spring (Trad)


    • Huong Thanh/Dominique Borker Scent of my childhood


    • Nyat Dung Dan Gao Improvisation

Broadcasts

BBC RADIO 3 WORLD ROUTE : TRAN QUANG HAI IN HANOI , UK 2003


Vietnam

Lucy Duran presents two programmes from Vietnam. In the first she is joined by Vietnamese musician Tran Quang Hai who makes the long journey home for the first time after 41 years of exile in Paris. They visit the bustling capital Hanoi, a city brimming with traditional music and culture.

In the second programme they visit the Southern capital where Hai was brought up: Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City. As well as sampling the vibrant night life they hear traditional ritual music and visit one of the youngest and most famous zither players in Vietnam.

Last on

Tran Quang Hai in Saigon

2/2. Lucy and her guides visit Saigon, the first time they have been back for 41 years.

Sat 3 Jan 2004 15:00 BBC Radio 3

See all previous episodes from World Routes

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Tran Quang Hai in Hanoi

Availability:
over a year left to play
Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 28 December 2002

Lucy Duran presented two programmes from Vietnam. In the first she is joined by Vietnamese musician Tran Quang Hai who makes the long journey home for the first time after 41 years of exile in Paris. They visit the bustling capital Hanoi, a city brimming with traditional music and culture.

Music and featured items

20 items

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Lucy Duran visits Hanoi

    Lucy Duran in the centre of Hanoi with Vietnamese musicians Tran Quang Hai and Bach Yen.

  • Music Played


    • Trad folk theatre from North Vietnam Title unknown

      Orchestra: of the National Conservatory of Music, Hanoi

  • National Conservatory of Music

    Lucy visits the National Conservatory of Music where she hears some folk theatre music.

  • Music Played


    • Ngo cha My In Love for Ever

      BBC Recording


    • Tan Twee Southern Spring (Trad)

      BBC Recording

  • 16 string zither and moon lute

    Lucy hears a 16 string zither and moon lute playing a mode which expresses sadness.

  • Music Played


    • Tan Twee Training with 5 modes (Trad)

      BBC Recording

  • Bach Yen’s western style hit

    Bach Yen explain why music from before the Vietnam War is still popular.

  • Traditional folk songs in Vietnam

    Lucy visits a music shop where she hears about the importance of traditional folk songs.

  • Music Played


    • Quang Vinh/Thuy Huong Con Duyen

      BBC Recording

    • Image for Thanh Lam

      Thanh Lam Cam Tay mua he

      BBC Recording

  • Water Puppet Theatre

    Lucy visits the Vietnamese Water Puppet Theatre.

  • Music Played


    • The Thang Long Water Puppet Troupe Orchestra Music from the Vietnamese Water Puppet theatre:

      BBC Recording


    • The Hanoi Ca Tru Thai Ha Ensemble Gui Thu

      BBC Recording

  • Ca Tru tradition love song

    Lucy hears the extraordinary vocal techniques of a 9 year old girl singing a love song.

  • Music Played


    • The Hanoi Ca Tru Thai Ha Ensemble Xam hue Tinh

      BBC Recording

  • The Ca Tru tradition

    Lucy learns more about the Ca Tru tradition from one its most famous singers.

  • Music Played


    • The Hanoi Ca Tru Thai Ha Ensemble Chi nam nhi

      BBC Recording

  • Reflections on Vietnam

    Lucy and her guide Tran Quang reflect on his feelings on returning to Vietnam.

  • Music Played


    • Huong Thanh/Nguyen Le/Dominque Borker/Duong Tam/Hao Nhien Pham Lovers on the mountain (Bai Ca Tren Nui)

      BBC Recording

Broadcasts