Xam singing can spread positivity and love: Senior musician

The Ha Thanh Xam singing (ballads sung by wandering blind musicians) troupe, particularly its member – musician and artist Nguyen Quang Long, has actively created new and effective ways to bring this traditional arts form closer to their audiences.

A show of Ha Thanh Xam troupe

The musician granted an interview with the Thoi Nay (Present day) publication of Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper to share information on their the upcoming activities.

Q: What does the troupe plan to do in the near future?

A: During this autumn, the troupe will perform two important events including a programme themed ‘Mother’s kindness’, on August 30 at Hong Ha Theatre, and a traditional musical programme entitled ‘The soul of Vietnamese villages’.

The programme ‘Mother’s kindness’ was organised for the first time in 2016, with the aim of creating a warm traditional music space and honouring traditional values in modern life. This year’s event will be organised on a larger scale and the tickets for the show have already been sold.

The programme ‘The soul of Vietnamese villages’ will introduce the special characteristics of the traditional culture in the northern delta region. The programme aims to serve visitors, therefore, artists will be mainly introducing imstrumental music.

Q: Xam singing has been introduced at numerous spaces and programmes, from Dong Xuan market to abroad, from music lounges to concert halls and communal houses’ yards, as well as from TV programmes to video clips on the internet. In what form do you intend to release future works?

A: A few months ago, I received an invitation to cooperate with An Vien TV channel to produce a daily television newscast on traditional arts.

Buddhist culture is closely entwined with the nation’s traditional culture. One of largest and most important rituals in Buddist life is the Vu lan (Ullambana) festival - an occasion to express gratitude to our parents, teachers, the nation and the Three Refuges. Meanwhile, there are many Xam songs highlighting the kindness of our parents, however, I think that we have to enhance the creation of new Xam songs on this theme. In addition, the spread of stories imbued with the spirit of Buddhist dharma, as well as positivity and love through Xam signing is crucial in modern life.

Q: Over recent times, the group has performed in front of the King Le Thai To by Hoan Kiem Lake. Could you tell us about your efforts to bring the arts form closer to the audience?

A: We consider our performance on the pedestrian street as an opportunity to serve a large number of audiences, particualrly those from the working classses. The audiences who almost never miss our shows are the old people from the Hanoi Old Quarter, people from the countryside living and trading in the inner capital, and the old people from the suburbs and remote provinces. There were also cultural cadres from Ham Yen district, Tuyen Quang province who regularly traveled nearly 200 kilometres to come to Hanoi and enjoy the troupe’s performances.

Q: What did you do to raise capital to serve the group’s activities?

A: The group has made great efforts to overcome difficulties in funding. It is essential to create a stable source of income for the artists in order to keep them attachment to the group, as well as this traditional arts form. The group had to pay great attention to create and preserve the artistic criteria for the shows to attract more audiences.

We are determined not to depend on other organisational units but to be active on our own. Therefore, we have made efforts to launch the programme ‘The soul of Vietnamese villages’ as well as enhance performance activities and cooperation with possible partners.

Source Nhan Dan