Saturday, January 12, 2008

Trần Quang Hải


Tran Quang Hai was born on May 13, 1944, in Vietnam. He is a talented and well-known musician. He comes from a family of five generations of musicians.

He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Saigon before coming to France in 1961, where he studied the theory and practice of Oriental music with his father, Professor Dr. Tran Van Khe at the Center of Studies for Oriental Music in Paris. For several years, he also attended seminars on ethnomusicology at the School of High Studies for Social Sciences (he got the MA and Ph.D degrees), and acoustics with Professor Emile Leipp.

He plays 15 or so musical instruments from Vietnam, China, India, Iran, Indonesia and Europe. Since 1966, he has given over 2,500 concerts in 50 countries, and has taken part in a hundred or so international traditional music festivals. He has taken part in radio and television broadcasts in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

He has been working for the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France since 1968, and is now attached to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the Musée de l'Homme (Paris). He was a lecturer on South East Asian music at the University of Paris X - Nanterre (1988-1995).

Apart from his artistic activities, he is also interested in musical research. He has improved the technique of spoon playing and of the Jew's harp. In 1970 he found the key to the technique of overtone singing. The film "Le Chant des Harmoniques" (The Song of Harmonics) which he co-produced with Hugo Zemp, and in which he was the principal actor and composer of the film music, has won four awards at international scientific film festivals in Estonia (1990), France (1990), and Canada (1991).

He is considered as the greatest specialist in overtone singing in the world. He has written numerous articles on Vietnamese and Asian music (New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Algemeine Muziek encyclopedie, Encyclopaedia Universalis). He has also recorded 15 LPs and 2 CDs (one of which obtained the Grand Prix de l'Academie de Disque Charles Cros in 1983). He has composed hundreds of popular songs. His musical experience is very varied: contemporary music, electro-acoustical music, improvisation, film music. He continues to preserve and develop traditional Vietnamese music (numerous new compositions for the 16 stringed zither, Dan Tranh).

He has received a Gold Medal for music from the Asian Cultural Academy, and honorary doctorates from the International University Foundation (USA), and the Albert Einstein International Academy (USA).

Dr. Tran Quang Hai works with his wife, Bach Yen, who is a Vietnamese great folk singer. He has obtained more than 20 prizes and international awards. He was nominated President of the Jury of the Khoomei Throat Singing Festival (Tuva, 1995). He obtained the Cristal Medal of the National Center for Scientific Research (France, 1996). He is the only Vietnamese to have taken part as a performer or composer in such great historical events as the Australia's Bicentenary celebrations (1988), the Bicentenary of the French Revolution in Paris (1989), the 700th Anniversary of the Birth of Switzerland (1991), the 350th Anniversary of the Founding of Montreal (1992), the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America (1992), the 600 Years of Seoul-Korea (1994), the Jubilee of the King of Thailand (1996), the 1,000 Years of Trondheim in Norway (1997).

Dr. Tran Quang Hai currently lives in France with his wife, Bach Yen:

Dr. Tran Quang Hai,
12 Rue Guitenberg,
94450 Limeil Brevannes - France.
Tel & Fax: (33-1) 4569 5577

Tran Quang Hai's New Blog.

The following are some videos about Dr. Tran Quang Hai's works:

Tran Quang Hai plays 2 Vietnamese tunes with Jew's Harp:

Tran Quang Hai plays with spoons at a fair in Rio de Janeiro:

Tran Quang Hai plays the spoons:

Tran Quang Hai sings "The Hymn of Joy" with overtones:

Teaching of overtone singing in Vietnam by Tran Quang Hai:

Tran Quang Hai - Omaggio Demetrio Stratos 16th Jun 2007:
Tran Quang Hai is an ethnomusicologist from Vietnam. He is interested in the use of voice by different cultures. At "Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos" in Alberone di Cento, FE, he plays spoons and jew harp using his plain throat to simulate electronic effects:

Bach Yen & Tran Quang Hai, VA 27 August 2006, Part 1:

Bach Yen & Tran Quang Hai, VA 27 August 2006, Part 2:

Tran Quang Hai, Musee de l'Homme:

Tran Quang Hai, a musician from Vietnam talks about mela festival & water puppetry:

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