Kyaw Kyaw Naing
Kyaw Kyaw Naing
Hsaing waing ensembles often compete on the basis of flashy arrangements and virtuoso playing. Kyaw Kyaw Naing is the son of Sein Chit Ti, a.k.a. Ywa Sa Sein Chit Ti, one of the grand masters of the hsaing waing ensemble. Kyaw Kyaw Naing is now more famous than his father. Naing's father was teaching his elder brother to play the pat waing.
He remembers that, at four years old, he would sit and watch his older brother struggle to play during a lesson. He learned to play quite well just from observing his father and brother. From then on, his father decided that Naing would study the pat waing and patala, and his brother would specialize in vocals. Naing started learning the classical Burmese repertory at six years of age. He won second price at a patala (bamboo xylophone) competition in Mandalay.
Then he won first prize at the Burmese Era 3000 competition and some other prizes as well. His mother wanted very much for him to be a musician, but his father did not because of the hardships of a traditional musician's life. In 1999, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) invited Naing to give a performance. After visiting England, he came to Los Angeles along with musicians from other Asian and European countries. His intention was to stay for a short while and go home.
But when he was at UCLA, he was amazed that Burmese music did not exist there. He saw musical instruments from many countries, but not a single Burmese musical instrument—not even a harp or a xylophone. He was inspired to introduce Burmese music to America and to help the Burmese community in the United States. Many of the instruments and sets which have been shipped from Burma belong to Naing's family. He has slowly been building a career as a Burmese musician.
Evan Ziporyn from Bang on a Can All-Stars invited him to a workshop at MIT. He has since performed with Bang on a Can and toured with a group from UCLA. Naing said that, like jazz musicians, Burmese players "look at one another and listen to the tune and play accordingly... even though they might play the same piece of music, the next time they play it differently." When asked if it sounds anything like jazz, he laughed and said, "No, it's totally different." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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