To celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Butterfly Ladies Band will present a show performing traditional Chinese music.
Deputy Head of the band, Song Shanhu, answers some questions about what audiences can expect of their performance.
2017 is the year of the fire rooster in the Chinese zodiac; what do you anticipate this year will bring for you and your band?
In the year of the rooster, our music performance is supported by the China National Arts Fund. We will perform across China in 2017. Of course, we performed across the whole country in previous years, but since we are now supported by the China National Arts Fund, we managed to gather a lot of talented musicians for the performance. We wish the Butterfly Ladies all the very best in 2017 and that they continue to perform beautiful music to audiences.
Your band features a range of instruments that are unfamiliar to Western music; what are your favourites and why?
These Chinese instruments are China’s national treasure. Each of their historical backgrounds are extraordinary and they are created by the wisdom of the Chinese ancestors. Due to globalisation and an exchange of culture around the globe, Chinese instruments are more well-known by our foreign friends. I love all instruments, each of them are unique and special. Chinese instruments are divided into four categories: Plucked String, String Instrument, Wind and Percussion. My most favourite instrument is Yangqin. Yangqin is a global instrument, we can find its traits in Europe, America and Asia, it is just that its name changes in different places. I love its Chinese characteristics and also how multicultural it can be. It can play different genres of music as well.
Image © Zhejiang Song & Dance Theatre Co
Music and culture are inextricably linked; what role does music serve in Chinese society?
If culture is food for one’s spirit, then music is the energy that supports the existence of one’s soul. As society continues to develop, music has become an important spiritual entertainment, it is a blessing to have music around us.
This is your first visit to Australia in around 10 years. Do you have fond memories of your last visit and what was your favourite recollection of that tour?
The Butterfly Ladies have come to Perth in 2008. We love the sunshine, beaches and also the passionate Australians. It is the first time for the Butterfly Ladies to come to Adelaide, we hope to have a great journey during our stay.
How do you integrate visuals into your live performance?
Each performance is unique and special. Our music style is mainly about the sights of China, but we have also included traditional and modern music elements within the show. The mixture of new and old will surely bring an exciting and interesting music experience to our audience.
What can audiences expect to see at your performance?
You can expect extraordinary visual and musical performance from us, but we would love to keep the details as a surprise.