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New CD a Poet's Cup of Tea


Taiwan composer and poet Kang Qiao's CD "Rhyme of the Tea" reveals a close relationship between tea and music.

The CD recently won second prize in the National Awards for Best Cultural and Artistic Audio and Video Productions sponsored by the State Press and Publication Administration and the China Audio and Video Association.

Among Kang's compositions, some capture the enjoyment that various types of tea bring to people's lives, such as "Orchid on a Snow Mountain," "Tasting the Tea on a Rainy Day" and "Drinking in Nanjing." Others are inspired by classical Chinese poetry, such as "Li Bai Went Down to Jiangling" (about the great eighth-century Tang Dynasty poet) and "Remembering the Southern Yangtze River Area," which was based on a poem by Bai Juyi, another Tang Dynasty poet.

The CD also includes Kang's adaptations of Chinese folk songs, including "In a Faraway Place," "Jasmine Flower" and "Looking at the Spring Wind."

Both Chinese and Western instruments are used in the CD. Some of the well-known musicians include Yu Hongmei, who plays the erhu, a two-stringed bowed instrument; Wu Yixia, who plays the pipa, a four-stringed plucked instrument; and Dai Ya, who plays the ,xun, an egg-shaped wind instrument.

The string section of the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Eight Eyes male choir also participated in the recording.

"Since my university days I have enjoyed going to teahouses," said Kang. "There has always been a close connection between tea and me."

Now Kang's music can be heard in many teahouses throughout Beijing, especially at the Wufu teahouses, which are holding a promotion for the CD "Rhyme of the Tea."

From now until July 22, in any of the 12 Wufu teahouses in Beijing, people who spend 200 yuan (US$24) or more will receive a copy of the CD.

(China Daily May 24, 2002)

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