Looking at life... from an oblique angle / and I sometimes Twitter (normally only when riled up): @brindafella

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Ban, Da, and Diyin Gehu

It has taken me a week to 'process' my happiness at seeing an "authentic" Chinese orchestra last week at the 18th Australian International Music Festival, in Sydney. The orchestra, from Singapore, was the size of a western symphony orchestra.

In place of the violins were the Banhu, instead of the cellos and basses were the Da Gehu (dahu) and Diyin Gehu (diyingehu) respectively. They are each direct size equivalents of their 'western' counterparts, as I noticed back-stage later when a Diyin Gehu case and a Bass case were beside each other.

Here are some pictures and detail:
- Banhu
- Dahu
- Diyingehu

There was also a 'section' of each of the pipa (in place of the violas), zheng, and souna.

The percussion section had Chinese equivalents of tympani and various other 'instruments'. Their performance alone would have been worth my trip. The solo of about 5 minutes by this section came in a longer work ("concerto") and was.... fabulous. The whole performance was just so powerfully and unexpectedly different and interesting.

The evening had started with a Japanese wind orchestra (bigger than a symphony orchestra!), followed by a Chinese choir with about 35 voices.

Then came the Singaporean Chinese orchestra I mentioned first.

Later, I was in the choir stalls behind the stage as part of the ~300 voice choir for the Ralph Vaughan Williams "Donna Nobis Pacem" cantata with the Canberra Youth Orchestra.

The venue was the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.

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