Culture Culture

19/10/2018 - 08:11

Hue, where emotions are always new

Hue is the land of poetry and music. The tranquil and ancient characteristics of this poetic land have once again inspired the creation of new songs.

Hue has just "received" 15 new songs written about this poetic land of the ancient capital. These are sweet and deep melodies of famous composers in the country, such as: Gap em (Meeting you) (poem by Duong Van, music by Do Hong Quan), Song Huong Giang (Perfume River’s waves) (poem by Le Tu Minh, music by Duc Trinh), Cam xuc Hue (The Feeling of Hue) (Ton That Lap), Ve Hue voi nhau di (Let’s come back to Hue) (Le Minh Son), ... These are the true feelings of 15 musicians after attending the camp "Hue - now and then" in September.

The upbeat, lovely tune of the song "Com hen" (Mussel rice) impresses the listener

Similar to the many famous songs written about Hue, most of the songs composed this time express Hue’s beauty that has moved so many souls. The image of ao dai, the long flowing hair, the romantic Perfume River, Truong Tien bridge, the ancient Dong Ba market or simply banh beo (the rice cakes) and com hen (mussel rice) ... have gently, simply and deeply gone into music, moving the souls of the listeners.

Having lived far away from his hometown for quite a long time, going back to Hue this time, musician Ton That Lap sent his sentiments in the song "Hue’s emotions": ‘Passing by the gentle Perfume River on an afternoon / Blurred in the fog, the Ancient Capital is majestic like in a dream...’.  With a gentle, light rhythm like that of a young woman rowing on the Perfume River; the song moves the listener by expressing the emotions of someone living far away from his hometown. The song is also a message to the young generation, reminding them to be grateful to the previous generations who built this land and the younger generation must  safeguard it.

Composer Ton That Lap shared that he wrote this song in only 15 minutes, because his feelings for Hue always flowed in him, especially when returning to this beloved land which he has long been away. The musician expressed: "These past few days, I have been immersed in the image of the romantic Perfume River. Watching the beautiful and green city, I have sketched some great work for my hometown. "Hue’s Emotions" is the beginning of a music project. It might be an epic or a suite I compose about the Huong River and Hue city.

Music by composer Phu Quang is sometimes lingering and profound and at other times, clamorous or reticent.  The song "Still in my memory", which he wrote about Hue, setting Thai Thang Long’s poem to music, is such a song. The song is written with a nostalgic melody which is both sophisticated and familiar at the same time. It portrays the memory of the musician’s youth with Hue. 

Making his mark with songs that have their own special characteristics, Le Minh Son is a young composer of creative inspiration. Despite having visited Hue many times, this is the first time he wrote about Hue. To him, writing about Hue is difficult because Hue’s music is already... a legend. Simple and rustic, the song “Let’s come back to Hue” is an invitation for everyone to visit Hue and try the simple food in the daily life of Hue people.

Musician Le Minh Son said: "Hue is a wonderful city, those who have not come to Hue, they will; those who do will want to stay then leave and then want to return again and again. This is my 32nd time coming to Hue. For me, with just a bright smile or a loving face, I know it is my hometown, and Hue is my second home. "

The poem "Mussel rice load in the mist" by the poet Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc has suggested the image which composer Tram Tich used to write the melody for the popular song "Mussel rice". With the upbeat, lovely rhythm, conveying traditional Hue style music, the song shows the characteristics of the folk dish which is ‘missed’ by many people.

The other songs express the nostalgic memory of the innocent and pure beauty which is a characteristic of Hue. From the poem ideas which are expressive and rich in melody of the poet Duong Van, musician Do Hong Quan set them in the song ‘Meeting you’: "Meeting you - a Hue girl; it’s Hue, yet still like a dream". The innocent melody expresses his love for the people of this land: "I love you, Hue! I will love you for the rest of my days… The whole heaven is full of love”. These are the passionate lyrics and love in the song "Thuong thuong xu Hue” (Loving Hue) by musician Vu Duc Tan.

The field trip with warm feelings has inspired the musicians to create new songs which are rich in emotions and melodies. Writer Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc, Vice President in charge of the Union of Arts and Cultural Associations said: "The peaceful natural scenery of the Huong River and Mount Ngu Binh area, with its cultural space kept in ao dai laps, in the poetic conical hats, in the dear Hue voice, and with the mark of a modern Hue beside the ancient monuments of a period long ago... has inspired the musicians. Certainly, the number of songs will not stop there, because artistic emotions are like waves which will remain in the hearts of the musicians and will rise in a certain day."

Story and photos: Trang Hien