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Reverberation - A Showcase Of Nanyin Classics (2018)

Presented by Siong Leng Musical Association


Published: 10 Sep 2020

Time taken : >15mins

Siong Leng Musical Association takes to the stage to present Reverberation, an enthralling group performance that gathered nanyin talents from different parts of Asia. Part of the line-up for International Youth Nanyin Festival 2018, this one-night-only concert saw the participation of arts organisations from China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore, including: Quanzhou Nanyin Inheritance Centre, China Quyi Artist Association, Fujian Quanzhou Art School, Jinjiang Nanyin Arts Troupe, Taipei National University (School of Music, Department of Traditional Music), Taipei Hua Sheng Nanguan Music Club, Yayasan Oriental Indonesia and Singapore’s own Sheng Hong Arts Institute. 

Whether you are a regular concert-goer or experiencing nanyin for the first time, this special showcase will captivate you with the charm and eloquence of a revered Chinese musical tradition.

Reverberation was performed on 24 June 2018 at Esplanade Recital Studio.

Five things to know about nanyin

1. Nanyin (南音) or “Music of the South” originated from the coastal city of Quanzhou in China’s Fujian province almost 2,000 years ago with roots that can be traced back to the Han dynasty.

2. In more recent times, nanyin has followed the Chinese diaspora, making its way to countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. 

3. The current state of nanyin remains close to its most traditional form with music, lyrics and performance methods hailing from the Song and Tang dynasties. 

4. Nanyin is traditionally performed by five musicians, with the vocalist seated in the middle and holding a clapper to set the beat. Two musicians on the left would play the dongxiao (bamboo flute) and erxian (two-stringed fiddle). On the vocalist's right, another two musicians would play the pipa (Chinese lute) and sanxian (three-stringed fiddle).

5. Dubbed the living fossil of ancient Chinese music, nanyin was listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. 

Learn more about nanyin - the gentle art of the South. 

Siong Leng Musical Association (SLMA) was established in 1941 and since then, it has grown into one of Singapore’s most respected music ensembles. Under the guidance of its late chairman Mr Teng Mah Seng, SLMA became known as a premier arts company with a mandate to preserve, promote and revitalise the art of nanyin. In 1983, SLMA brought nanyin to international prominence when it came in third in the "Folk Solo" category of the 37th Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod with Mr Teng’s composition Reminiscence. Over the years, SLMA has continued to nurture the next generation of nanyin practitioners while touring major cities across Asia, Europe, and the United States. A recipient of the National Arts Council Major Grant from 2019–2022, SLMA was conferred the inaugural “Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award” by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in 2017. 

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