Friday, August 1, 2014

Nanyin @ Kusu

This year, as part of the Singapore Heritage Fest 2014, Siong Leng participated in the Balik Pulau programme with a special performance at the Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple on 26 Jul 14.

Usually, Siong Leng members and supporters would perform at the Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple every year during the 9th Lunar Month, which is also the pilgrimage month for devotees to go to offer their respects to the Tua Pek Kong. This year, it is a special with one performance under the Heritage Fest.

The response from the public was overwhelming. About 200 people from the public got a place in the 2 ferries fetching them to the island at 6pm for a tour and Nanyin performance that temple at 8pm.

For many, it was a first time to Kusu, not to mention in the evening (the usual last ferry leaves at 6pm from Kusu Island) and to watch a Nanyin performance in the temple.

Although there was a light breeze, it was still humid and warm in the little temple, but many of the participants braved the conditions to experience a "kampong styled vegetarian meal" with a very traditional nanyin performance. There was a brief explanation on the history of how nanyin started and found its way to Singapore and other places where there are Hokkien people, as well as on the nanyin instruments that are played the same way since more than a thousand years ago.

To give the newcomers to nanyin, a spread of nanyin music and songs were specially chosen for them to appreciate the tradition as well as its adaptability to foreign music.

For many, it was a new experience.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Another summary of updates and more activities of Siong Leng (June 2014 newsletter) to share with you.

Looking forward to meeting you at one of our events. Check out at our facebook page: A City Heritage of Nanyin and Liyuan Opera of Singapore for more updates.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

August 2013 Newsletter

In the past few months, Siong Leng members were busy in various performances across different countries in Asia Pacific. The August Newsletter is finally out with some updates of the various activities. More are being lined up right to new year.

Thanks for your continued support.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nanyin at Kusu Island

Another tradition that Siong Leng upholds and continue is the visit to Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple during the 9th Lunar Month Pilgrimage.

Each year, since the old days, during the 9th Lunar Month, there is a pilgrimage where devotees from as far away as Thailand and Indonesia would visit Kusu Island to pay respect to Tua Pek Kong (Da Bo Gong).

This year, Siong Leng continues this tradition, visiting the temple on 26 Oct 13. More than a hundred participants join the evening trip to Kusu Island where Siong Leng members and devotees pay their respect to Tua Pek Kong and the resident deities with two Nanyin sacred songs.

After a light dinner, like the good old kampong (village) days, participants gathered and sat at their favourite corners of the temple while the young Siong Leng members prepared for their performance for Tua Pek Kong. Nanyin songs and music ranged from the famous old Nanyin pieces to the more modern ones comnposed by the late Mr. Teng Mah Seng, which provided the Nanyang connections to the Lao Jia back home in China.

Unlike the old days when the older folks would watch, listen and chatted amongst themselves as the musicians performed for Tua Pek Kong, this time, shutterbugs sat near to the musicians to capture the actions. Young and old, big and small cameras, and even handphones, all joined in the shooting. You could see the number of spot lights hitting the faces. (^^). Tua Pek Kong must have watched in amusement reminiscing the old days where handphones were virtually non-existent.

The older and younger members played their part in this evening of performance with a light breeze blowing through. Unknown to us, a storm bypassed Kusu Island and headed for the city.

Many who were new to Nanyin and Kusu Island too came away delighted with the experience. A feel of what it was like decades or even centuries ago. As the city moves rapidly, like the bypassing clouds carrying the storm, Kusu Island Tua Pek Kong Temple stood still. A scene of the ancient time was replayed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nanyin performance at Thian Hock Keng

23 October 2013 is the 19th day of the 9th lunar month, the third and final Guan Yin festival of the lunar year. Since 1948, Siong Leng has been performing Nanyin, continuously on the three festivals at Thian Hock Keng, and likewise, continue with the tradition.

Over the years, Thian Hock Keng has seen more younger Nanyin performers. This is great for the continuation of tradition and an assurance that Nanyin will continue on in the decades ahead. The evening's performance was made possible with the sponsorship of Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan and the National Arts Council.

Thanks to the continued support from the National Arts Council, Siong Leng has been able to work on more creations, working with other musical groups in its presentations. At the same time, it continues to play the age old Nanyin traditions that the older Hokkiens in Singapore are familiar with.

The performance at Thian Hock Keng treated the audience with a mix of new and old melodies and songs. A nostalgic journey for the old and a refreshing start of a new journey for the young.

An inspiring moment when it is said that words could be music. Watch this.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The fifth issue of the newsletter is now available for viewing

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nanyin at the Library@Esplanade

On 3 Feb 13, as part of the Singapore Nanyin Exhibition at the Library@ Esplanade, held from 27Jan13 to 3Mar13, organised by the Singapore Traditional Southern Fujian Music Society 新加坡传统南音社, in collaboration with Siong Leng Musical Association 湘灵音乐社, Singapore Sheng Hong Arts Institute 新加坡城隍艺术学院, Tong Bee Sia 同美社南乐组, Amoy Association 厦门公会南乐组,  and Youth Improvement Association 青年促进社南乐组,  Siong Leng conducted a workshop with performance.

The location at the Library@Esplanade is an ideal place where visitors to the Library could get to listen to the presentation by the youth members of Siong Leng, explaining on this ancient music that spans some 2000 years, since the Tang Dynasty. There was also an introduction to the main instruments that have been used unchanged over the millennium. And naturally the music.

With the young being exposed to different music, especially in multicultural Singapore with a cosmopolitan mix, the youth members also performed a fusion, experimenting interaction with music of other traditions.

There was a good turn out for the performance, including these two kids who were enthralled by the music.