This weekend, Langkawi islanders are in for a treat with an exclusive intimate concert featuring professional guzheng master, Alan Lam, accompanied by various talented musicians.
At 48, Alan Lam has had years of musical training under his belt. His interest in music was piqued at 8 years old when he watched his father play the guzheng in his hometown of Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Today, Alan is on a mission to keep the cultural heritage of traditional Chinese music alive not just amongst musicians but among the general public as well. He has played all over Malaysia and China over the years and this time, he is bringing this traditional Chinese music to Langkawi.
The 2,500 Years Old Chinese Musical Instrument
For the uninitiated, the guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, is a musical instrument with more than 2,500 years history. Legend has it that the guzheng was originally part of a bigger instrument. A fight between 2 people resulted in the instrument being broken into two halves – one with 12 strings and another with 13. Since then, the silk strings have made way for nylon and brass and the number of strings itself has increased greatly. The modern guzheng found in present times commonly has 21 strings.
It is widely believed that the guzheng became the most widely played traditional Chinese musical instrument in China by the time of the Tang dynasty. The guzheng has even made its way into modern music, like in this dreamy 2010 track Hong Kong by Gorillaz:
Alan Lam & Friends Live In Langkawi
This Friday, we Langkawians will have a chance to hear this beautiful Chinese traditional instrument being played to contemporary tunes at Langkasuka Hotel. Alan Lam will be playing alongside Loretta Tan, his long time musical partner and Tan Jen Wei, founder of NADA Music Academy Langkawi. Tan Jen Wei will be showcasing his incredible talent on the er hu (the traditional Chinese violin) and bass guitar. Other musicians collaborating on the same night are Lenny from Lenny Music Centre, Uncle Hoo, our island’s legendary multipurpose musician, and many more.
This is the first event for organizers NADA Music Academy and they are hoping to generate interest of traditional Chinese music in Langkawi within the local island community. They are also not dismissing the possibility of this leading to become an annual event that could put Langkawi on the map for both traditional Chinese musicians and tourists who are keen on this unique genre of music.
Here’s a taste of Alan Lam and friends’ surreal music that will be live on stage at Langkasuka hotel this Friday:
Nada Music Academy presents: Alan Lam & Friends Live Guzheng Music will be held on 17 May 2019 (Friday) at the Diamond Ballroom of Langkasuka Hotel, Kuah.
Tickets are priced at RM50 (VIP) / RM30 (normal) / RM15 (student)