SAN CHUAN (Chinese, transl. "Three Rivers") is a trio of three young and energetic women playing the Chinese zither Zheng. The trio has been founded autumn
by three students of the China Conservatory of Music in
. Even though being very young as an ensemble, SAN CHUAN already captured a central position in the scene of Chinese contemporary chamber music. Their success is based on their musical sensitivity, instrumental mastery and most over on the unique combination of three zheng and the exquisite repertoire.
The music performed by the trio has mainly been written by composer Lao Luo, an acclaimed expert in the realms of new Chinese art music. Exploring and expanding the potential of the instrument the trio produces lush orchestral soundscapes, full of rippling arpeggios and strident melodies, contrasted by singular moments of reflective space and serene calmness.
Performances on WOMEX
and EUROPALIA-CHINA in
(the biggest Chinese arts festival ever held outside of
) introduced the trio first time to a non-Chinese and throughout enthusiastic audience.
The three musicians, Xia Jing, Wen Ting and Sangka, all in their early twenties, stick out through their personal artistic commitment in a Chinese music scene that gives little on creative individualism. All trained on the zheng since their early childhood, they are desperate to enter the stage showing their skills and musicality.
The Zheng (or Guzheng) is a Chinese zither with 21 strings, pentatonic tuning and a range of four octaves. The instrument has ancestors dating back as long as 2500 years, documented through the findings in the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zhou in Hubei/China. Today, descendents of the Chinese instrument can be found throughout
(e.g. Japanese Koto, Korean Gayageum). A very popular instrument in our days, the Zheng remains still mostly a solo-instrument, and new repertoire is rare. The Zheng can be played very virtuoso, but it is most enchanting through its beautiful singing melodies enriched by most tender bending notes.