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Different voices sing with beauty

TWO beautiful female voices will be heard in Shanghai late this week. Unique Chinese ethnic music presented by Dadawa, or known as Zhu Zheqin by the Chinese audience, and the beautiful classical voice of Hayley Westenra from New Zealand will tug the strings of local audience's hearts at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

"Hear the World - Dadawa and Ethnic Music Masters 2010 Tour" will present Dadawa's new creations on Thursday while Westenra will bring a classical vocal concert on Saturday, both at Shanghai Grand Theater.

Appointed as the China National Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Development Program with a focus on preserving ethnic music, Dadawa initiated the UNDP-Dadawa Culture-based Development Goodwill Action for Ethnic Minorities in China in 2009.

She spent four months touring minority regions in Guizhou and Yunnan provinces as well as in Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions, in order to discover and collect ethnic music elements.

And now she is bringing her achievements back to Shanghai, where her first world-popular album "Sister Drum" was produced.

Dadawa has collected more than 1,000 folk ethnic music pieces so far, and the most unforgettable of them swarm to her when she closes her eyes and contribute to her new creations.

"Each place with its landscape and residents has its unique characteristics," says Dadawa, "For example, Guizhou offers an impression of original wildness ? not rough but shining like silver or a flash of light. Xinjiang music is quite a paradox. It is a combination of sadness and happiness. The music flowing on the Xinjiang ukulele is always sad in melody yet enchanting in rhythm. Tibet usually poses an atmosphere of eternity. Sometimes, there may only be two notes repeated in the music, but you can feel the changes in the eternal slow rhythm."

The eternality is the most attractive part of Tibetan music for Dadawa, though many others consider its resounding music more appealing.

The eternity exists in both folk and religious music in Tibet. It is something that makes you calm the moment it enters your heart, says Dadawa.

The concert this time will not be a simple display of ethic culture and elements, but also injected with Dadawa's hope that the genes of ethnic music can be inherited and developed today and in the future as well.

Apart from presenting the beautiful voice of Dadawa, the concert will also offer a new look to traditional ethnic music by combining ethnic musical elements, various instruments and modern multimedia stage presentation together.

As the artistic director of the concert, Dadawa says that she is determined to guide the audience to a magic music tour striding time and space through the concert.

Ethnic musicians that were discovered by Dadawa during her tour will present their voices alongside her.

Guzheng (Chinese zither) player Chang Jing, who performed at the 2008 Olympics and percussionist Arai Soichiro, will also join the music gala.

A multimedia-supported stage designed by John Wong will also be a highlight of the concert. Traditional landscape painting by famous artist Li Huayi will be presented as the background so as to create a beautiful universe with merged music and painting.

If Dadawa's performance helps present a unique picture of western China, Westenra will help bring the audience to a sweet and peaceful wonderland.

Born in 1987, Westenra's music talent was discovered by her music teacher when she was six. She had participated in more than 40 musical performances by 11, and aroused wide recognition at 13. "Pure," the album released in 2003, gained her the crown of best-selling classical singer.

Westenra's work is in the intermediate region of classical and pop music. A beautiful voice and young age gained her popularity among young audiences, but orthodox classic vocals are not often questioned by traditional classical fans.

Singing is a talent for her, says Westenra. Though classical music has provided her rich nutrients since she was young, she never rejects pop music. Coldplay and Daniel Bedingfield are among her favourite pop musicians.

"Music is my favorite, I won't distinguish different types of music that clearly," says Westenra. And she is happy that her album can help more young audiences get interested in classical music.

Her new album "Winter Magic" will soon be available in China and some of the songs from it will be presented at the concert.

"Hear The World - Dadawa and Ethnic Music Masters 2010 Tour"

Date: October 28, 7:15pm

Tickets: 280-1,880 yuan

Hayley Westernra vocal concert

Date: October 30, 7:15pm

Tickets: 120-580 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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