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“Living treasure” of ceremonial music passes away

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm

“Living treasure” of ceremonial music passes away

QĐND – Sunday, December 19, 2010, 22:38 (GMT+7)

Hue Royal Court Music’s “living treasure”, artist Tran Kich, drew his last breath at his resident in Hue City on the morning of December 18th.

1. Artist Tran Thao, the late Tran Kich’s son, said that his father’s death was a great loss to his family, relatives, friends, and Hue traditional music-lovers. Although his father was very old, he tirelessly gave exellent lectures on the unique Hue Royal Court Music to students at the Hue Academy of Musicology, Hue College of Arts and Culture, and to those deeply keen on traditional music.

Artist Tran Kich is among the last Hue court music artisans. Once the artist confided that he had to teach his children and grandchildren pieces of court music that he could not bring along before he died.

2. Born in 1921, in Thanh Trung Village, Quang Thanh Commune, Quang Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue Province, artist Tran Kich learnt in his childhood the Hue Royal Court Music from his father, an old artisan popular for his talented playing of musical instruments. At the age of 16, he took part in the court music troupe founded by King Bao Dai. He was good at playing various musical instruments, including two-string Chinese violin, Vietnamese two-chord guitar, and Chinese four-chord lute, monochord, and flute.

Having become popular, he was invited to give lectures at the Hue National School of Musicology (Hue Art University and Hue Academy of Musicology at present) in 1962. Many generations of musical students, such as Eminents, La Cam Van, Ngo Huu Lan, and Tran Dai Dung, have been trained and grew-up at this school.

Artist Tran Kich has greatly contributed to introducing Hue Royal Court Music to the world. In 1995, as head of the Phu Xuan Club, he and the club gave performances and recorded a CD in the World Cultural House in France. The CD was a phenomenon in France and several other countries around the world. The Western press selected it one of the 10 best CDs on traditional music of the year.

On the process of submitting Court Music as a world heritage, artist Tran Kich conducted a lot of performance tours to promote such a unique music genre among international friends. Also, he contributed to the recording of 30 pieces of royal court music.

In 2004, UNESCO recognized Hue Royal Court Music as Mankind’s Oral and Intangible Heritage. That recognition resulted from the great efforts of the talented artist, Tran Kich.

3. Once, Professor Tran Van Khe movingly said to artist Tran Kich after his performance at UNESCO’s Hall in Paris, that he had traveled to many places and watched performances by various artists, however, through artist Tran Kich’s performance, the soul of the Vietnamese two-chord fiddle, the Vietnamese two-chord guitar, and monochord had been lifted to new heights and it could not mix those sounds into other sounds.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, the Ministry of Culture and Information, presented him the Medal of Cultural Soldier, in 2000. Three years later, he was conferred the title, “Vietnam’s Folk Artisan” and Eminent Artist in 2007.

Notably, on February 26, 2008, the French Ministry of Culture bestowed the title, Knight of Culture and Art of France on him.

French Ambassador Hervé Bolot said in the bestowing ceremony on April 6, 2008 in Hue city, that the Eminent Folk Artist, Tran Kich, had greatly contributed to the art and culture field, especially Hue Royal Court Music, for more than half of the century. His contributions in research and introducing Hue Royal Court Music were important factors for UNESCO’s recognition of Hue Royal Court Music as Mankind’s Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage Masterpiece. Artist Tran Kich was a worthy being and soldier in keeping and promoting diversified values of cultural heritage.

The talented artist passed away but his descendants, who learned Hue Royal Court Music from him, will never forget him with their talented musical instrumental performances.  

Source: TT&VH

Translated by Mai Huong

Source: QDND

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