National performances included Ottawa's Canada Day Celebrations, Harbourfront Centre, Vancouver Jazz, Folk and Children's festivals, National Arts Gallery, National Library, Sunfest, Halifax's JazzEast, and Montreal's Centre Pierre Peladeau. The Orchid Ensemble actively commissions new Canadian compositions. Its unique instrumentation provides composers a new vehicle of expression. By performing contemporary works to a Folk and World Music audience while conversely performing traditional music to a New Music audience, the ensemble consistently breaks down boundaries between musical genres. The Orchid Ensemble's concert productions, supported by the Canada Council, represent its commitment to premiering Canadian music and presenting innovative cross-cultural programs. Past collaborators included Uzume Taiko, Egret Ladies Choir (Taiwan), pianist/composer Ya-wen V.
Wang, Iranian santur player Alan Kushan, African percussionist ManDido Morris and Jewish woodwind player Mike Braverman. Special projects included "Road to Kashgar" – a Silk Road project, "Jews in China" - exploring a thousand-years' connection of the two cultures, "Contemporary Chinese New Year" – contemporary works by Chinese Canadians, and "Parting at Yang Kuan" – compositions inspired by poetry. These projects have pushed the musicians to expand their vocabulary and develop new musical languages. The ensemble's recent projects have started to cross different disciplines: "Multi Media: Road to Kashgar" (2005) featured interactive media arts by Donna Szoke, with Chinese calligrapher Yukman Lai and Dervish dancer Raqib Brian Burke. "Parting at Yang Kuan" (2006) featured media artists Kenneth Newby and Aleksandra Dulic and poetry reading by Britannia Secondary School students, in an exploration based around the theme of poetry and music.
"Triaspora" (2007) featured choreographers/dancers Jessica Jone and Chengxin Wei of Moving Dragon. "Café de Chinitas" (2006) fuses Chinese melodies with Flamenco rhythms with Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre. These projects have developed into ongoing collaborations and will be performed on tour nationally and internationally. Through educational programs, the Orchid Ensemble fosters the understanding and interest in non-western music for the next generation of audiences, promoters, administrators and musicians. As BC's spokesperson for the UNESCO ASPnet in Canada, the ensemble has designed programs for primary to secondary levels.
At post secondary institutions, the ensemble gives a variety of lecture-demonstrations, workshops and master classes for both music and other campus departments. The ensemble combines distinct musical traditions in a contemporary framework to inspire and encourage students in their future lives and careers. The Orchid Ensemble's CD "Road to Kashgar" was nominated for world album of the Year by 2005 JUNO Awards. "Heartland" was nominated for Best Instrumental Music and Best World Music by 2001 West Coast Music Awards. Discography: Heartland - 2000 Road to Kashgar - 2004 Lineup: Lan Tung - erhu, percussion, & vocal. Mei Han - zheng & percussion. Jonathan Bernard - marimba & percussion. Read more on Last.fm.
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