Love and Longing Across the Pacific: MVOH 2018 Workshops


The Flowery Scroll is the English name given to a Ming Dynasty love story, sung as an epic muyu (wooden fish) song, and the oldest published of its kind documenting muyu lyrics. Sung as early as the 1710s in South China and renowned throughout Europe when translations reached that continent, The Flowery Scroll is the one of the oldest full-length muyu songs known for the beauty and simplicity of its language, and for its universal insights into the human condition.

This famous story of love and longing continued to be sung over the centuries by ordinary folks in a variety of dialects throughout Guangdong Province, and was brought over to 19th-century British Columbia by Chinese migrants from the Pearl River Delta. Today, we are bringing this music back from the private sphere – where it is still sung in snippets if you know who to ask – into the public one through our workshops on “Indigenous Music, Opera & People from South Guangdong” /「粵曲、粵調、粵移民」.

On October 10 and 12, we will be hosting one workshop in Cantonese and another in English featuring the musical storytelling traditions of muyu songs performed in popular dialects by Chinatown elders, naam yum (southern sound), and other forms of folk music in Cantonese opera. These are the first workshops in 21st-century Vancouver on muyu songs and the musical heritage of early Chinese migrants to Canada, and promise to be a rare, fascinating opportunity to rediscover the soundscape of early Pacific Canada.

All events are open to the public, but pre-registration is required:

Wednesday 10 October (2:00PM – 4:00PM)
MVOH 2018: Indigenous Music, Opera & People from South Guangdong 
(Workshop in Cantonese)
Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Friday 12 October (4:00PM – 6:00PM)
MVOH 2018: Indigenous Music, Opera & People from South Guangdong 
(Workshop in English)
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC

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