A special night of music and talk named “Am I a man who dreamt of being a sound, or am I a sound dreaming that I am a man?” by two Jrai artists R’Cham Tih and Ksor Sep will be organized on January 8, 2021 in Hanoi. 

Traditional music of Jrai ethnic minority in the Central Highlands need to be preserved/ Photo: Vietnam Tourism

At the event, the two artists will play traditional Jrai musical instruments such as the k’ni, ting ning and t’rung, among others; will sing hri and tell audience their Jrai epic tales called “Khan”.

‘Am I a man who dreamt of being a sound, or am I a sound dreaming that I am a man?’ will take Hanoi audience on an auditory journey into long-unheard music & epics of Jrai people, bring them an extraordinary experience of indigenous culture in the Central Highlands.

Folk artist R’Cham Tih was born and grew up in Jut Village in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai. Started to play musical instruments from a very young age, R’Cham Tih is a talented musician and craftsman, master of many Central Highlands instruments such as Ting Ning, K’ni, T’rung and K’loong Put.

Even named his children after the musical instruments, Tih devoted himself to the preservation and development of traditional music of Jrai and the Central Highlands as well. He is also a passionate teacher who becomes an inspiration for local young generation.

Jarai ethnic minority in Central Highlands/ Photo: ASEAN Heritage & History 

Meanwhile, artist Ksor Sep born and grew up in Brel village, Gia Lai province, He has learned to tell Khan (epic) and sing Hri at the age of 15. It is the custom that the Jrai people gathered every night to sing Hri and tell Khan after their hardworking day on the fields.

Nowadays this ancient tradition seems to disappear and there’s hardly anyone who can sing Hri and remember any epics. Ksor Sep is probably the last person in his village. With a wonderful oral memory, Sep is indeed a treasure trove of indigenous knowledge of the Jrai people. Unfortunately, since his village has stopped to practice any traditional rituals, Sep no longer has a chance to gather with the villagers, drink some wine and tell them epics as before.

The music and talk event will take place at 7p.m on Friday, January 8, 2021 at Manzi Art Space, No14 Phan Huy Ich street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi. The event will be conducted in Vietnamese and the seating is limited. A minimum contribution of VND100,000 or US$4.3 each audience will be required and collected at door during check-in prior to the event. All donations from the audience will be given back to the artists.