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Lan 2005 interview

“The music of Lan Tung” – Wendy Chen, The Canadian Immigrant Magazine, August 2005

Lan Tung with her instrument of choice, the erhu. Through the Juno-nominated musical group Orchid Ensemble, musician Lan Tung delivers the beautiful sounds of her native Taiwan to her new home in Canada. “I play the erhu, one of the most expressive instruments in Chinese music,” she says. This two-string stick fiddle is believed to have been introduced to China by the Mongolians around 1,000 years ago.

Tung”s own involvement with music began during her elementary school days in Taiwan”s capital, Taipei. Before her family decided to move to Canada in 1994, Tung had been a music teacher and was in the process of completing her university degree.

Once she had settled in Vancouver, she broadened her horizons by performing with a variety of World Music ensembles. Canada”s ethnically diverse population has allowed Tung, through music, to explore other cultures while preserving her own.

Still, the sounds of the Orchid Ensemble are made even more luxurious by embracing other styles, such as jazz and creative improvisation. The Orchid Ensemble regularly collaborates with other artists to achieve a Western-Asian musical fusion. “I love to experiment with ”sounds, textures, intuition and ideas,” she says. It is in Canada that she has been presented with the opportunity to come in direct contact with the various musical styles that have influenced and enhanced her own.

Road to Kashgar is the Orchid Ensemble”s newest CD and touring show. The group will be performing in Vancouver, September 16, at the Roundhouse Community Centre. This multimedia concert will feature a backdrop of images from the Silk Road, which will transform according to the sound, pitch and tempo of the instruments being played. For more information, visit Orchid Ensemble.