Reminiscence: Experiment Rare Recordings of Melodies from Hong Kong’s Bygone Age
Naamyam, also known as Deishui Naamyam, is a Cantonese song-art that combines speaking and singing. It was popular around the Pearl River Delta. As a type of traditional Chinese music and a form of oral literature, naamyam is an important heritage both for its artistic and cultural values. Most naamyam singers are blind, where male singers are called gu si (blind songster), and female singers gu gei (blind songstress) or si noeng (female blind singer). Dou Wun is one of the gu si’s. In the beginning of the 20th century, deishui naamyam was popular in Hong Kong, where it was mainly performed in tea houses and brothels; in the 60s and 70s, the prevalence of broadcast television and radio brought changes to entertainment and performance: deishui naamyam went downhill along with the disappearance of traditional performance venues.
In 1975, Professor Bell Yung came to Hong Kong to document Dou’s performance. In order to show the quintessence of Dou’s artistry and be truthful to naamyam, Yung made the live recordings in Fu Loong Teahouse, where the audience and the ambiance are most familiar to Dou.
In 2018, Zuni experiments with the recordings of Dou via audio system, image projection, and other theatre technology alike, to relive the audio-visual space of deishui naamyam.
Post-performance talk after 3 November performance (Guest Speaker: Bell Yung)
Zuni Icosahedron is a Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Zuni Icosahedron is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region