Mars News Ensemble will make its debut in Hong Kong in November with a musical epic that will give local audiences an electrifying experience full of surprises and fizzing creativity.
The ensemble comprises Mainland rockers Dou Wei, Zhang Chu, Wang Yong and Wang Fan, Japanese electronic music star Yoshihiro Hanno, Japanese hurdy-gurdy player Tomo, jazz virtuoso Jonas Hellborg from Sweden, throat-singing diva Sainkho Namtchylak from Tuva, local pioneering artist Dickson Dee and acclaimed film director Zhu Wen.
The show's narrative is furnished by a musical movie straddling the genres of sci-fi, suspense and comedy devised by renowned writer, poet and director Zhu Wen. The roles are played by musicians who also provide live music. Adding a high level of interaction between players and audience, the result is a fascinating new audio-visual experience.
The musical movie is about a group of mysterious men flocking to Beijing from around the world. To escape from surveillance, they disguise themselves and set out to attend a wacky wedding in a remote village. But the gathering at the nuptials turns out to be an underground meeting and, while mingling with the villagers, they embark on a secret mission to save the world.
The trailblazing musicians comprise Mainland and international heavyweights. The Chinese line-up includes Dou Wei, Zhang Chu, Wang Yong and Wang Fan.
Dou Wei spearheaded the Chinese Rock Power concert in the 1990s and took Hong Kong by storm. His cool approach is influenced by British rock and avant-garde electronic music. His return to Hong Kong after a long absence, along with his signature "enfant terrible" style, is greatly anticipated. Zhang Chu, another influential figure in the Mainland's alternative music scene, made a name for himself after the release of the single "Sister". Known as the "sad poet", Zhang has moved countless fans with his subtle vocals. Wang Yong, a guzheng player, rock musician and singer, has developed a distinctive style that blends traditional Chinese music with Western classical, rock, electronic, improvised and experimental sounds. Wang Yong and the renowned experimental musician Wang Fan have worked on creating and developing fresh directions for contemporary Chinese ethnic music and underground sounds respectively.
Joining them are adventurous performers from around the world. Dickson Dee, a local experimental musician who often performs at major international arts festivals, is known for his freewheeling improvisations and boundary-breaking electronics. Maestro Yoshihiro Hanno from Japan has had a profound impact on electronic music in Europe and Asia, and has also collaborated with movie directors such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Jia Zhangke. His style is in sync with this production and is sure to have a mind-blowing effect. Tomo is a proficient player of music instruments like hurdy-gurdy, oud, and saz. His style is influenced by Middle Eastern and Indian folk music. His live performances were also a platform for developing an experimental and psychedelic approach in his work. Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg has been on the jazz and avant-garde music scene for more than three decades, performing with John McLaughlin and Bill Laswell to open up new music horizons. Tuvan throat-singer Sainkho Namtchylak has performed extensively in Europe's alternative music scene. Her arresting vocal technique has captivated audiences around the world. With such an awesome collection of musical talent, the show promises to be an artistic voyage and is bound to make waves.
World premiere concert by Mars News Ensemble is one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged on November 12 and 13 at 8pm at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.
Tickets priced at $340, $260, $180 and $120 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking and package discounts of up to 20% are available.
A talk on "The Vision behind the Musical Movie" will be held on November 10 at 8pm at AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Film director Zhu Wen will share the insights and inspiration that led to Mars News Ensemble. The talk is conducted in Putonghua. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website, www.newvisionfestival.gov.hk .
For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Credit card telephone bookings: 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at www.urbtix.hk .
Ends/Friday, October 22, 2010
Dou Wei's cool approach can be traced to the influence of British rock and avant-garde electronic music. His return to Hong Kong after a long absence is greatly anticipated.
Zhang Chu, known as the "sad poet", has moved countless fans with his subtle vocals.
Film director Zhu Wen will share the insights and inspiration that led to Mars News Ensemble in a talk on November 10.