GRANT #352:

Hello Gold Mountain

06/24/2019
A Refugee Story For Our Time (From The Last Century) Using Guzheng and Oud (???)

Perhaps you know what a guzheng is if you know Chinese instruments, and the lute-like oud has been a part of Middle Eastern music for thousands of years.

Contemporary classical composer Wu Fei brings these musical voices together in HELLO GOLD MOUNTAIN, her original work for chamber ensemble, telling the story of Jewish refugees from the last century.

Did you know that when most of the world turned away Jews fleeing persecution in Europe that the Chinese city of Shanghai welcomed them? Sadly, there’s much more to the story, which HELLO GOLD MOUNTAIN conveys through instruments and voice. That’s where the guzheng and the oud come in, representing the voices of the Chinese and the Jewish refugees, respectively.

The message is one that resonates with us: when refugees are made welcome, they become part of the fabric of a community. When they are not made welcome, untold opportunities for mutual enrichment are lost. (See our grantees Hello Neighbor and New Farms for New Americans for examples of how to build strong communities that include new people.)

HELLO GOLD MOUNTAIN’s premiere by the Nashville-based chamber ensemble chatterbird at Vanderbilt led to plans for a tour.

Most importantly, audio and video recordings are being prepared for release, and this Awesome Without Borders grant will support the editing process.

We love: female composers (female classical composers are even more rare), ditto for female-led ensembles (go chatterbird), talking about what it means to leave one’s country and try to make a home somewhere else, and celebrating our differences.

You can get a generous taste of HELLO GOLD MOUNTAIN below, and you can follow along with chatterbird on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Follow along with Wu Fei, too, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.