Greek ensemble En Chordais is back by popular demand after its triumphant performance at the Mediterranean Arts Festival in Hong Kong in 2007. In an array of new works commissioned by the Silk Road Arts Festival this month (October), the group will retrace the legendary traveller's journey to the East, departing from Venice via Jerusalem to Beijing in its concert "Marco Polo's Travel to China".
Collaborating with five virtuosi from Silk Road regions including Italy, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Tajikistan, the ensemble presents a multimedia mosaic dating from the 13th century to today, bringing a colourful concert blending diverse musical traditions into a multicultural panorama of sound.
In this pioneering programme, gravures, images of landscapes, and historical manuscripts in a variety of languages are combined with original compositions and music rearrangements by artistic director and oud player Kyriakos Kalaitzidis to explore the fascinating journey of the legendary traveller. The production will unveil the cultural treasures that Marco Polo discovered and his inner hopes and fears.
En Chordais was honoured by becoming the official nomination of the Greek department of UNESCO for the Sharjah 2007 award for the promotion of Arabic culture. In 2008, the group received the Prix France Musique des Musiques du Monde.
Gig Magazine (UK) appraised: "The group combines Greek regional idioms and contemporary sounds with a range of influences, mixing moments of traditional festiveness and intense humour into their performances".
En Chordais is a workshop of sounds from the Eastern Mediterranean and neighbouring lands, based in Thessalonica, Greece. The music ensemble, along with its music school, books and CDs, offers a broad perspective of Greek music. It is active in multicultural, learned music and Greek popular musical traditions.
Combining research with performance, En Chordais has appeared many times at festivals in Greece, the Balkans, Europe, and the Middle East. The ensemble has also worked with many Greek and overseas artists.
"Marco Polo's Travel to China" by En Chordais Ensemble is one of the programmmes of the Silk Road Arts Festival presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 8pm on October 31 at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets priced at $120, $200, $280 and $360 are available at URBTIX outlets.
Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Discount of up to 20% is available for full-price performing arts/film programmes of the festival.
A lecture demonstration will be held on October 29 from 8pm to 9.30pm at the Hong Kong Arts Centre McAulay Studio. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, Artistic Director of En Chordais Ensemble, and setar player Kiya Tabassian will demonstrate Silk Road music and discuss its characteristics. Kalaitzidis will also share the creative concept behind his newly composed works for the Silk Road Arts Festival and his experience of collaborating with artists of different cultures. The lecture demonstration is conducted in English. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
En Chordais Ensemble will also perform on October 29 from 6pm to 6.30pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Foyer. Admission is free.
Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets and on the website www.silkroadfestival.gov.hk .
For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Internet bookings can be made at www.urbtix.hk . Credit card telephone bookings can be made on 2111 5999 and telephone reservations on 2734 9009.
Ends/Thursday, October 8, 2009
En Chordais Ensemble from Greece, in an array of new works commissioned by the Silk Road Arts Festival, will retrace the legendary traveller's journey to the East, departing from Venice via Jerusalem to Beijing in its concert "Marco Polo's Travel to China".
With his original compositions and music rearrangements, the artistic director of En Chordais Ensemble and oud player Kyriakos Kalaitzidis will unveil the cultural treasures that Marco Polo discovered and his inner hopes and fears.