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Jiuyue Ma Music

Chinese art →

Undoubtedly, music plays a special role in peoples lives: this art is with individuals when they are born, celebrate some special events, and when they die. One might say that the music can be seen as a sort of bridge to the memories because particular songs can be associated with some people or episodes from lives, and when people hear those songs, they can make persons feel happy or sad. However, one is clear: music has a significant impact on human lives and stories. The history of the music evolution is significant as well. Many types of music that people can now enjoy are a composition of classic styles, new waves, and musicians internal experiences. The music created by Jiuyue Ma has not been an exception of the rule. The composer has become a true inspiration in the music art from a global perspective due to his contribution to the development of the Chinese folk music that positions sound and culture as a whole.

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To start with, Ma was interested in music from the very young age, and he had the talent to study instruments, styles, and provide something unique as a result. Being in a young age, Ma studied liuqin, piano, and erhu. After his graduating in music performance in the China Conservatory, he passed to the Beijing affiliate in China Central Conservatory in 1990, where he continued to improve his skills and studied conduction (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio). Formerly, Mas father was trying to pass to the Central Conservatory, but he failed. This time Ma was not only reaching his goal, but also wanted to fulfill his fathers dream; so, he trained to play the two-stringed bowed erhu. In the contemporary time, Ma says about that instrument that the sound of the instrument can be sad and ecstatic, which is so versatile (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio). When studying in the first course of the conservatory, the future composer has heard fusion for the first time. It was a tape record, and now Ma cannot remember any specific details about it, but he definitely remembers how much he was amazed by the classic Western music and the fusion of Indian folk sounds and instruments. This experience was the start of self-identification in music style of the poor young musician, who was full of hopes of successful career (Nan). Later, Ma formed his first band called Dipingxian, which translates into English as the horizon. Ma began to write folk music since 1993. In addition, in 1994, he became a music producer in Beijing Culture and Arts Co., Ltd. Okura (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio).

The beginning composer has developed his music due to his great gift, which made him an outstanding musician. Having a unique taste in music, Ma expressed his ideas in terms of music interpretation from different perspectives in his music works (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio). As he once said about himself, Ive never learned composition but its like an instinct, growing in my body (Nan). He is actually one of the founders of the Chinese folk music. In consonance of his talent, Jeff Rona, a Hollywood actor and one of the judges of Grammy, once called Ma the genius composer of world music, and he was right (Nan). The musician has taken the traditional motives of Chinese music and made them sound in a new way, introducing all the beauty of the Chinese folk music in this manner. His new Chinese music can be described as the crossover from worlds musical instruments and styles and traditional Chinese folk music (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio).

Even being in an early stage of his music career, Ma has made a crucial impact on many colleagues at his professional area. For instance, in 1998, Feng Xiaoquan, Chinese instruments player was so delighted with Mas style that he decided to invite Ma to create an album and go on tour in South Korea, Japan, and some other Asian countries. This event was Mas first break. He acquired much confidence with the full house performance, and that experience has helped him to explore and modernize the Chinese folk music (Nan). In 2006, he released a multinational album called Listen to the Chinese Music, which was made in cooperation with many foreign musicians (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio). In 2008, he led the project of 100-day countdown to the Beijing Olympics (Nan). However, the composer was not running for a fame or popularity. Instead, his main goal was to introduce his style to people, so they could understand the beauty of the Chinese sounds combined with culture. With his album, Ma has begun to present his creation to the world and make it well accepted by the market through a great number of performances in China and abroad. Mas team is now very suitable for an international tour. He is looking for an opportunity to perform all over the world and is opened to new cooperation. In the United States, Mas team is looking forward to talk with those, who like his music, and to listen to the new recommendations for his music (Beijing Jiuyue Music Studio).

Having an inspiring talent and a possibility to introduce himself as a performer have given Ma the ticket to the worlds scene, from where he could now show all the charm of the new music he created. The place was the Chicago Orchestra Hall. Every year, the Chinese Ministry of Culture sends folk musicians abroad so they can perform on a traditional China New Year as a part of the celebration. In 2015, it was Mas turn. In the busiest district of Beijing, the composer with his twenty Chinese folk musicians was running a rehearsal for their upcoming shows in the US. The concert was entitled Sounds of China, but Ma who was the artistic director of the upcoming show, told to China Daily, The sounds that you hear will be different from what you may expect from the traditional Chinese folk music. The composer was preparing more than ten works to perform them at the concert in Chicago, which mostly included the contemporary interpretations of the classic Chinese folk music. The first show in Chicago was given on February 15 at Chicago Orchestra Hall. The audience enjoyed the combined performance of the Chicago Symphony and the China National Orchestras, thereby uniting the Western classic and the contemporary Chinese music. That year Ma and his band of seven musicians were preparing for two concerts in Denver and after that they had a tour across several universities (Nan). Mainly, Ma was representing the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra to Chicago in the context of the Sounds of China concert from the position of the artistic director.

The Mas music was so strong and impressive that its reputation have preceded it: the public was waiting for the show and the network rates showed numerous responses. The concert Voice of China, or Sounds of China, took place in the Chicago Symphony Center on February 17, 2015 as the part of the Chicago Chinese Forum. The concert has resulted in a colossal success. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert was started 120 years ago, and in 2015, the theme of the festival was the Chinese music for the first time. Ma and his 30 top folk musicians took the responsibility to open the concert simultaneously representing the new contemporary music of China, performing the portrait of China in this way. Performing the Windy City, the group brought some spring feelings to the audience. The performance of the very familiar to the ethnic audience Jinyikuangwu inspired the show, bringing a cheerful melody of the Chinese folk musical instruments to the hundreds of listeners. The next two musicians, who performed solo Boats and the flute solo Partridge respectively, made a perfect interpretation to the audience based on their profound knowledge. The performances were so impressive that the audience have burst into thunderous applause. At the concert, Ma performed the classic track In That Distant Place in a modified manner due to the Chinese local folk music implications, and even with the new arrangement it still sounded with its traditional charm. Along with the Chinese, many American listeners were intoxicated with the charming melody.

In addition to classic sounds, the composer has paid attention to the tastes of the modern audiences. For them, Ma with his team presented a new arranger style in songs Mask, and Love War among others. Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians also performed such tracks as the Night Sky, Beatitudes Watercolor Memories, with the ethnic Chinese violin, piano, and other instruments (Tian). At the intermission of the concert, the General Consul Wang accepted the visit of the media and stated that the Voice of China has top artistic standards. Wang also said that it was the second year that Chicago celebrates the Chinese New Year and that concert brought a good start to the New Year. Comparing to 2014 when the celebrating of the Chinese New Year in Chicago held all types of entertainment that were more into joy, in 2015, a significant attention was attributed to the Chinese culture, and the impact of Chicago and nations immigrant descent on its celebration (Tian). In turn, the new president of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Jeff Alexander, said that the concert was quite successful; so in the future, they might arrange the Chinese New Year celebration in Chicago every year (Huang). The full concert lasted for 3 hours and ended with the New Year greetings (Tian).

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The impact of this great artist is as big as it can possibly be. Firstly, Ma is one of the founders of the contemporary Chinese folk music. Secondly, he brings the Chinese culture to the world and shows how beautiful it is. Thirdly, the musician deserves much respect because he has made himself from the poor student, who wanted his father to be proud of him, to a famous and genius composer. Many people all around the world now can enjoy his music, but the luckiest ones can once a year feel a pleasure to hear and see a great concert during the celebration of the Chinese New Year. However, aside from the pleasure from listening to Jiuyue Mas compositions, he made his impact into histories of the music development. Thus, now, this person is the part of the history.

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