Just two days to go before the Year of the Rat is upon us, so, as we do to celebrate almost every Lunar New Year, we have some festive treats in this week’s programme. Later in the show, we have a fusion of East and West as erhu player Chan Pik-sum and accordion player Nazar Tabachyshyn bring us a lively tune that I suspect most of you will recognize. As one of the most important holidays across Asia, Lunar New Year is celebrated in a wide range of ways. Apart from the food, it’s accompanied by an array of traditional arts and crafts. To start the new year, many people clean the home and decorate with lucky colours, ornaments, and symbols. Billy Lee, presenter of our sister programme 艺坊星期天 went out to learn how to produce one of those forms of decorations: the paper cutting.
Lunar New Year decorations in homes and on the streets come in all shapes and forms. Apart from the traditional imagery, you’ll also find popular cartoon, movie and television characters, catch phrases, and slang expressions. And this year, Ben Tse went to discover how to decorations in a far from traditional technology.
Chan Pik-sum plays the huqin, gaohu and the erhu, all of which are from the family of Chinese bow-string instruments. She is also a founding member of the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble. Apart from that, she’s active in Western music and has performed in crossover dance, theatre and other multimedia productions.
She’s with us today with Ukrainian accordion player Nazar Tabachyshyn to talk to us about some of those cross-cultural collaborations.