Invited by Asian-Canadian Special Events Association (ACSEA), Chai Found Music Workshop from Taiwan will present “A Musical Banquet: A Feast of Sumptuous Classical Music” at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, the Sid Williams Theatre in Vancouver Island, and the Living Arts Centre-Hammerson Hall in Mississauga, during the Lunar New Year, from January 24th to February 2nd, 2020. In addition to three performances, the group will host a workshop in Vancouver Island. With the support of Ministry of Culture and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, Chai Found Music Workshop will bring traditional Taiwanese sitzu (Chinese chamber music) and the lively roadside banquet culture to the international stage.
Taiwan used to be a traditional agricultural society. A roadside banquet (bandoh as in Taiwanese) is usually set up for important holidays. “A Musical Banquet: A Feast of Sumptuous Classical Music”, inspired by this important tradition, is created with the theme of “banquet.” Chai Found Music Workshop’s founder Huang Chen-Ming is the producer and the composer of this production. He replaces the dialogues with music and body movement, which therefore transcends the language barrier. Musicians are the actors in this production.
“A Musical Banquet: A Feast of Sumptuous Classical Music” is presented in the form of a theatre play, depicting head chefs’ working process, from preparing the ingredients to distributing the food to serving the dishes, with scenes portraying their comical interactions and their sentiments. Musicians beat the kitchen appliances, firewood, dining tables and chairs rhythmically, diversifying the presentation of classical instrumental performance. It allows the audience to appreciate the performance not only through their ears, but also through their eyes. The story also features chefs’ internal struggle between love and bread, which makes this program a theatre with oriental instrumental music depicting “fighting for love.”
Ever since it was founded in 1991, Chai Found Music Workshop has been dedicated to preserving the culture of Taiwanese traditional music. In recent years, the group has also further attempted to integrate various creative elements from, for instance, Taiwanese local cultures, contemporary percussion instruments, and our daily life. “A Musical Banquet: A Feast of Sumptuous Classical Music” will be presented during the Lunar New Year in Canada, fitting to this important celebratory moment. It will allow the international audience to get to learn about the Taiwanese unique roadside banquet culture, and Chai Found Music Workshop’s excellence in developing traditional sitzu music.