Dunhuang music gets a digital boost

New composition of ancient Dunhuang music [Photo provided to China Daily]

(US Commerce News) As a prelude to the third Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo, a concert was held at the Mogao Caves site in Gansu province at Sept 25, jointly organized by Tencent, QQ Music and the Dunhuang Research Academy.

The gala showcased the achievements made by QQ Music in preserving music of Dunhuang.

The first two sections of the concert featured authentic Dunhuang music translated from ancient musical scores and performed by students from Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and adaptations that integrate modern musical elements into the ancient compositions.

Gong Linna [Photo provided to China Daily]

A highlight of the show was performances by “celebrity digital supporters of Dunhuang music” — popular singers, Gong Linna, Xu Song, Shang Wenjie, Azora Chin, and pop duo Good Meimei.

Gong Linna, the founder of Chinese New Art Music, introduced an original song composed by her husband Robert Zollitsch, entitled Yuexia Feitian Jing (The moon, a celestial mirror).

Tencent first introduced the idea of “digital supporters” this June, inviting celebrities to participate in the digital preservation of Dunhuang’s wall paintings via digital multimedia such as video games, music and animation, as an effort to attract young people to join the cause.

Meanwhile, QQ Music is also working with the Dunhuang Research Academy on the “Jüe” project, which focuses on the preservation of ancient Dunhuang music.

Azora Chin [Photo provided to China Daily]

“Jüe” stands for Juexing (awakening), expressing the aim of the project, that is, to revive Dunhuang music through digital means.

The concert was broadcast live to an online audience of over 10 million, and the songs were also made available on the QQ Music platform.

Separately, the release of Azora Chin’s Xiyu (West encounter) received over 10 thousand comments within the first 47 minutes and has been shared for more than 1.2 million times on Weibo.

Wang Xudong, the director of the Dunhuang Research Academy, acknowledged the far-reaching implications of incorporating traditional culture into contemporary entertainment.

Cooperating with QQ Music is an important step for the academy, and can support the rejuvenation of traditional Dunhuang culture, Wang said.

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