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Blog #18: 調式音樂/印度音樂/夾樂園 • 族 ImprovFuz


Blog #18: 調式音樂/印度音樂/夾樂園 • 族 ImprovFuz


一場印度的歷險, 觸發了很多音樂上的靈感. 對於印度的音樂人, 音樂不單是在樂器上的技巧, 音樂自然地流露在他們的血液裏, 反映在他們的生命裏-他們的所有. 我們有幸地認識了幾個Varanasi當地音樂人, 聽了他們的故事, 在短短的時間裏嘗試去剖析和破解印度音樂的精髓. 當中我的Sitar ‘Guru’ 的音樂歷程最令我深刻, 音樂完全地改變了他的人生--出生在一個貧困家庭, 千辛萬苦找到了方法學習Siar, 經過數十年的拜師和苦練鑽研, 音樂令他的家境完全改變過來.

對於這些音樂人, 連繫一班朋友玩音樂就是他們的娛樂, 就是他們的party. 很羨慕這個印度朋友的人際網絡十分廣闊, 音樂人隨傳隨到, 我們有幸地認識了玩Sitar, Tabla, Bansuri, Harmonium 和 Violin 樂手, 而這些音樂人個個都十分有料. 我們聽着看着這些好像大師級的音樂人簡直是目定口呆, 嘆為觀止. 這些音樂人吸引之處在於他們能夠利用音樂沒有掩飾, 淋漓盡致地真情流露, 每一個音, 每一個拍子也能夠唱出來, 每一個音也好像散發出一些醞釀了很久的精華. Video 1 Video 2

印度傳統音樂是一個迷宮, 迷宮裏面有自己一套的系統. 即興元素在印度音樂裏極其重要, 但是有清楚的限制和編排. 很多民族音樂(例如中國, 印度等) 也是「調式音樂」(modal music)- 以最簡單的方法解釋就是多注重旋律, 音和音之間的關係 (橫線關係 horizotal, 想像五線譜上由左到右的音), 所有排出來的scale 不是大調或小調(major, minor ). 那西方音樂的Tonal music- 注重和弦之間的關係 (直線關係 vertical-想像五線譜上由上而下多層的音造成的和弦), 這個關係引伸的一套系統稱為 functional harmony 和 chord progression (舉例: C, F, G, Am chord). Rough Guide of World Music評述 “西方音樂會由一個點漸漸地發展, 而印度傳統音樂會不停地在這個點徘徊, 用每一個角度有規劃和有限制地探索這個點. 就是這種克制性的即興形色區別出印度的傳統音樂和現代的流行音樂 (如Bollywood).

「調式音樂」(Modal music) 是一些能夠讓你開拓利用音樂作情緒表達的「詞彙」, 相對西方的音樂着重利用和弦(harmony) 創造不同的張力與釋放 (tension & release) 去表達情緒, 印度音樂着重利用旋律 (melody) 的調式來去表達和觸發回應. 我們常用的大調(Major) and 小調 (Minor) 根本是不足夠去表達大部份的情感. 在印度音樂中, 他們足足有434個旋律調式( Raga), 足以包含春夏秋冬, 早上, 中午, 黃昏, 晚上的喜怒哀樂....這四個中文成語根本不能表達印度音樂情緒的複雜性, 我猜想每一個基本情緒也大概可能會有100多個變奏. 有一位印度朋友以自己國家的音樂為榮, 幽默地說 "西方音樂震動你的身體, 印度音樂震動你的靈魂. Western music shakes your body, Indian music shakes your soul."

在香港, 聚集一班人玩音樂好像一定是一些固定的模式, 例如管弦樂團, 中樂團, 夾band, 而這些樂團要有特定的水準才能加入, 而且性質是排練多過是「玩」. 因此夾樂圓希望能夠提供一個玩音樂空間, 讓人透過音樂拉近與自己與他人的關係:從天馬行空的音樂互動空間,到深度探索音樂世界的創作空間,至透過音樂面對自我內心世界的個人空間,目的是讓人與自己相遇,與他人結連。生命的蛻變從找回自己開始,而音樂是釋放自我的起點。

承繼之前的小組, 這個新的小組 夾樂園 • 族 希望能夠連繫一班玩世界民族樂器或奇形怪狀樂器的音樂人, 每次透過即興jamming, 探索fusion modal 音樂世界, 發掘與探索「調式音樂」(Modal Music) 和印度傳統音樂旋律調式 Raga. 音樂是用來玩的, 而且是一班人一齊才夠好玩的. 希望能夠將我在印度經歷過那種扣人心弦的音樂空間和氣氛帶回香港, 集合到一班真正想感受音樂的人, 大家沒有譜,沒有固定玩樂器的方法, 一齊即興真正的玩音樂.

Blog #17: Thoughts on Modal music/Indian music/Jamsical—ImprovFuz

India has truly inspired me and sparked off some new ideas for musicking for the new year. For Indian musician, music is not simply about the techniques of playing an instrument, music is in their blood, their life, their everything. I was lucky to be able to meet some local musician in Varanasi, listened to their stories, in a limited time trying to decipher and absorb the essence in their music. My sitar guru’s life story on music is particularly memorable-Raised in a less privileged family, with great efforts he found a way to learn music and sitar, after over ten years of perseverance and endless practice, he became a performing musician and a guru himself, providing his family the needed income and changed his family status. Music has transformed his as well as his family’s life and destiny.

For the local Indian musician we met, connecting a group of musician friends to play music is their entertainment, it is their definition of a ‘party’. I was envious of this musician friend’s social network where one phone call can easily summon a group of musicians to action. I was lucky to be able to meet professional musician that plays the Sitar, Tabla, Bansuri, Harmonium and Violin. Their musicality and technical skills are literally breathtaking, the music are truly mesmerizing. The beauty of these performance lies on the fact that these musician can use music to fully express themselves without withholding anything. Every note, every beat can be vocalized, and every sound their produced conveys so much passion and enthusiasm, it’s almost as if each sound has been brewing for decades. Video 1 Video 2

Indian classical music is a maze, within the maze there’s a clear system. Improvisation is one of the crucial elements, but with clear restrain and boundary. According the Rough Guide of World Music, "Where Western music starts at a particular point and then progresses from it. Indian classical music revolves around the point, probing it from every angle, yet maintaining a dignified restraint. It is this restraint that distinguishes Indian classical music from the carefree abandon of Indian pop and film music."

Many ethnic music (e.g. Chinese and Indian music) is modal music—In a nutshell: Modal music’s primary focus is on the melody, the relationship between notes (the horizontal relationship, imagine on the score all the notes lay out from left to right), the notes lined up resulting in a ‘scale’ are not major nor minor.

Western music is considered as tonal music, focusing on the vertical relationship between notes, resulting in harmony and the system of functional harmony and chord progression (e.g. C, F, G chord).

I reckon modal music is like musical vocabularies that one should learn to accumulate in order to extend their emotional expression with music. Compared to the western music which emphasis on using harmony to create tension and release to express emotions, Indian music emphasis on using different melody and relationship of notes which they call ‘raga’ to express and illicit responses. The tonality of major and minor we frequently uses in music simply are not sufficient to capture the essence as well as express the complexity of human emotions. For the Indian musician, they have adequately build up a system to serve the purpose of emotional expression with their 434 raga, enough to capture every nuances of emotion one would experience in every season as well as different times of the day. I guess every basic emotion has over 100 variations. An Indian friend I met was very proud of the national music culture, humorously comments "Western music shakes your body, Indian music shakes your soul."

In Hong Kong, gathering a group of people to play music together seems to be a standardized activities, e.g. western orchestra, Chinese orchestra, band. The instrumentations are all standardized and requiring specific standards, the nature of these groups are more like ‘rehearsal’ rather than musicking.

Extending the three existing groups from Jamsical, this new group ImprovFuz aims to connect a community of world ethnic/ unique & strange instrumentalist to explore modal music soundscape through improvisational music jamming. Hoping to bring back what I have experienced in India back to Hong Kong- the musical space that is full of passion, enthusiasm, connection and life. Music is for playing, the fun begins when a group of people gather and play together.


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