Super Orient Courser Concert: Distinctive Music Celebrates Asian American Heritage Month

Here’s an event that I’ll be working on this coming weekend for my friends at the Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute. Super Orient Courser is comprised of a young group of musicians who have established themselves as a seven-member traditional Chinese/Mongolian music ensemble from China. The ensemble’s performance features Morin Khuur (aka horse-head fiddle), and folk and overtone singing. This ensemble has won many awards in China and has performed for President Obama during his State Visit to China in 2009. They’re in Chicago to celebrate Asian American Heritage Month in May.

Super Orient Courser from China Performs Morin Khurr and Overtone Singing

CHICAGO – Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute (CCCI) and Confucius Institute in Chicago present Super Orient Courser, a seven-member traditional Chinese/Mongolian music ensemble from China to celebrate the Asian American Heritage Month in May. The ensemble’s performance features Morin Khuur (aka horse-head fiddle), and folk and overtone singing. This ensemble has won many awards in China and has performed for President Obama during his State Visit to China in 2009. In addition to Chicago, the ensemble will also be performing in Cleveland, OH, Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, San Antonio, TX and Austin. Tickets are priced at $10 each and can be purchased on www.chicagocci.com. These concerts received generous support from Ravinia Festival, University of Chicago International House, and University of Chicago Confucius Institute. Two public performances are scheduled in Chicago area:

May 19, 7:00p.m.,  International House Assembly Hall, University of Chicago
May 21, 3:00p.m., Bennett Gordon Hall, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park

Super Orient Courser was established in 2005. The young musicians brought their contemporary interpretation to the Mongolian instrument Morin Khurr while keeping many of the traditional repertoire.  They won the Gold Medal at the traditional music competition on China Central Television in 2007 and have toured many countries, such as Mongolian People’s Republic, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and Austria, to name a few. In November, 2009, Super Orient Courser had the opportunity to perform for President Obama during his State Visit to China.

The Morin Khurr, aka Horse Head Fiddle, is a traditional bowed stringed instrument played in China and Mongolia. The Morin Khuur is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity identified by UNESCO. It produces a sound which is poetically described as expansive and unrestrained, like a wild horse neighing, or like a breeze in the grasslands.

Overtone Singing, aka Overtone Chanting, or Harmonic Singing, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips to produce a melody. The partials (fundamental and overtones) of a sound wave made by the human voice can be selectively amplified by changing the shape of the resonant cavities of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. This resonant tuning allows the singer to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and a selected overtone), while in effect still generating a single fundamental frequency with his/her vocal folds.

Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute (CCCI) is an agency dedicated to promoting Chinese language and culture in Chicago as well as cultural exchange between Chicago and China. Since establishment in 2005, CCCI has organized many Chinese language and cultural programs and has sponsored several Chinese Artists to Chicago and assisted Chicago performers to China to promote American culture. For More information about CCCI, please visit www.chicagocci.com.

To buy tickets, click here.


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