Silk and Steel Projects
The Silk and Steel Project, a non-profit organization officially registered under the Canadian Corporation Act, is under the artistic direction of Liu Fang, the featured artist of Philmultic. The purpose of this project is to create music that is familiar yet new to every culture, bringing together audiences of different traditions, hence promoting mutual understanding which is the key to world peace.
The Silk and Steel Project started in 1999-2000 with a series of concerts in the framework of "East meets West", supported by concert production grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Radio-Canada in Montreal. Since 2002, we began to use the "Silk and Steel Project" - a name given by Dugg Simpson (artistic director of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival) to signify the nature and purposes of this project.
"Silk" represents the ancient oriental cultures whereas the "steel" reflects the modern occidental culture. The ancient Silk Road played a key role in the commercial and cultural exchanges between the oriental and occidental worlds, and while Chinese traditional instruments used to be made of silk, many are now are being replaced by steel strings which were invented in the west and used for western string instruments. The Silk and Steel Project aims to find the "middle way" between the East and the West, antiquity and modernity.
The repertoire is made of new compositions and improvisations, as well as re-arrangements of the existing ancient classical and folkloric melodies in terms of ensemble pieces for both oriental and occidental instruments. The musical theme may change from year to year. Each year, different artists (musicians and composers) are invited for collaboration according to musical themes and artistic consideration. In the past few years, some of our special guests have been highly-acclaimed artists, including Professor Tran Van Khe (master of traditional Vietnamese music, Paris France/Vietnam), Malcolm Goldstein (maestro of violin for improvised music, Canada/USA), Yoshio Kurahashi (Shakuhachi master, Japan), Debashish Bhattarcharya (master of Indian slide guitar, Inda), Subhasis Bhattarcharya (master Tabla player, India), Yegor Dyachkov (virtuoso cellist, Russia/Canada), Farhan Sabbagh (Arabic ud virtuoso, Syria), Julian Kytasty (very accomplished bandura player, Ukrain/USA), the fiddle player, Oliver Schroer (one of Canada's most accomplished musicians), David Ellis (cellist, leader of Alcan String Quartet, Canada), Pham Duc Thanh (virtuoso of Vietnamese monocord, Vietnam/Canada) and Ziya Tabassian (percussionist, Persia/Canada). Just as Dugg Simpson put it: "There is a glorious complexity in the music of Silk and Steel, the kind only found when musicians are so technically accomplished and so deeply grounded in tradition, that they are free to listen and respond to each other in entirely new ways. There is nothing tentative or hesitant in these artists' explorations. Instead, there is grace, generosity and passion in abundance."
Recent TV Reportage
December 14, 2008: Interview and live performance at the famous Dutch vrijegeluiden TV (music channel).
The following clicp is an extract (4 min.) from a documentary by CBC TV (BravoCanada) broadcasted on January 12, 2008, 8:30pm.
Liu Fang's solo concert at TFF Rudolstadt festival on July 9, 2006, recorded live and broadcasted on ARD TV in Germany.
Thanks to the above three TV stations and the TFF Rudolstadt for the permission to use these videos for demo purposes
Recent Radio & concert live broadcasting
December 16, 2008: Concert with Liu Fang and friends - the 1st concert in the series with CONTRASTS IN CHINA.
Liu Fang on Pipa (Chinese lute) and guzheng (Chinese zither), Yoshio Kurahashi on shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), Pops Mohamed on African kora, kalimba, mouthbow and Ziya Tabassian on percussion Intrum grafting (Tombak, framed drum).
live recording, and broadcasted on March 27, 2009, by the Dutch music radio - Concertzender Live.
Recording Technique: Sabrina ter Horst
Production: Rolf Buijs
19 December 2008
20:00 - 21:30 Liu Fang on Dutch Radio - Metamorfosen
Producer:: Sally Farrar
Click here for information and play list.
On March 22, 2007, concert in the KIT Tropentheater with Liu Fang (Pipa, guzheng) and Yoshio Kurahashi (Shakuhachi).
Concert live recording and broadcasted by the Dutch music radio - Concertzender Live.
Recording Technique: Arjan van Asselt
Production: Rolf Buijs
Click here for more Information
Recent and future events
2010: Duo - pipa & violin, traditional and improvised music, new CD release
Silk and Steel Project 2008-2009: Liu Fang & Michael O'Toole
Silk and Steel Project 2007-2008: Liu Fang, Yoshio Kurahashi, Ballake Sissoko, Ziya Tabassian
The silk sound - Liu Fang (pipa, guzheng), Alla (oud), Ballake Sissoko (Kora), Henri Tournier (Bansuri), 2006.
Silk and Steel Project 2003-2004
Silk and Steel Project 2002-2003
Silk and Steel Project 2001-2002
1999-2000: "East meets West"
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