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02/04/2018 - 08:07

Ca Hue (Hue Traditional Singing) magnetizes not only old people

Chamber Ca Hue magnetizes not only old people but also young ones today.

Anh Hong (middle, front row) is confident on the stage of Chamber Ca Hue

On a weekend evening, after walking around Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street, we stop at the tea shop under the bridge. No sooner had  I and my buddy from Hanoi to Hue sipped cold cups of lotus tea to quench our thirst than oddly enough, Ca Hue lyrics from somewhere echoed. And it turned out that Hue Discovery Club nearby was holding a night charity fundraiser on the occasion of March 8 with the presence of the vocalists from Chamber Ca Hue Club.

The sound of the lyrics kept urging us to come closer to the performance site. On arrival, my close buddy was so amazed that he patted my shoulder, saying loudly: “Wow! Why are Ca Hue singers here so young? Normally, I see only old women singing.”

A curly-haired chubby guy standing beside us revealed that those young singers come from Chamber Ca Hue Club. They, though young, have long had great passion for Ca Hue. They can sing very well, and perform on many stages. For more information, please get to Hue Museum of Culture at 25 Le Loi Street at 20.00 p.m. every Tuesday to listen to Ca Hue for free.

Not only can Le Minh Vu sing great songs, but he (left) can also compose new  lyrics

By that guy’s introduction, my buddy and I made an appointment to enjoy   Chamber Ca Hue. "Why not take this free opportunity to listen to the music only ancient kings could enjoy. Also, it is bad for a Hue’s girl not to know what Hue Ca is," I whispered to the buddy. “Okay!  Come early on Tuesday.”

Guided by the security guard, we found the chamber where the Ca Hue performance would take place in ten minutes. Scarcely had we got to the entrance when an old man welcomed us with a smile, “Are you both newcomers? Come on in and take a seat to enjoy Ca Hue.”

"What an enjoyable club! Its members are of all ages; especially, there are more and more young members. Sometimes there are dozens of them, or at least several young people mad about Ca Hue come here to sing and play music. Clearly, Ca Hue fascinates not only old people but also young ones," Vo Que, head of Chamber Ca Hue Club, said with excitement.

Mr. Que added that what is good about chamber Ca Hue today is that every night performance is attended by young people. It is wrongly thought that Ca Hue is familiar to the elderly only, but in reality the club’s night performances are done mostly by young vocalists.

Young people get here partially for their considerable inherent passion for Ca Hue, but many of them happen to come here, listen to, and bit by bit become crazy about the traditional music.

How deeply and passionately young vocalists sing Ca Hue. After a youngster’s performing the opening song for today’s show, I know that he is Le Minh Vu, a 12th grade student, Nguyen Hue High School. He has been inspired with the deep love for Ca Hue by his grandfather since childhood. All day long Vu listened to Cai luong (Southern Vietnamese folk opera) and Ca Hue, and he listened so frequently that he grew up to fall in love with traditional music. Just around the age of ten, he could sing simple tunes while listening to some Ca Hue artists through tapes and discs.

Last year, Vu joined in Chamber Ca Hue Club partly to satisfy his passion and partly to wish to become a successor to Ca Hue. With an inborn voice plus a bit of gene from his father, now Vu can sing great songs and even compose lyrics.

Anh Hong (aged 11) and  Anh Tuyet (aged 7), whose mother is Nguyen Hong Le, Head of Traditional Music Section, Faculty of Traditional Music, Hue Academy of Music, have just joined the Club for more than one  year for the craze for traditional music inherited from their parents .

Initially, the two children accompanied their mother to the chamber to watch her perform. After only a few nights of performances, the two children liked to sit listening to and mimicking their mother. Back home, they asked their parents to give them more practice.  Now the two sisters can sing songs with lyrics suitable for their age and bravely get on chamber stage to perform with everyone.

Mr. Vo Que rejoiced, “It was previously thought that no one will ever inherit Ca Hue any more. Now, a lot of youngsters have great enthusiasm for it, and some begin to learn more about Ca Hue. This keeps the elderly like me very happy and confident that the generation to come will do better than what we did."

Story and photos: Nhu Quynh

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