HN & HCMC – Music Performance “The Fifth Cardinal Direction”

HN & HCMC – Music Performance “The Fifth Cardinal Direction”

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HCMC: Mon 13 Nov 2017, 8 – 9.30 pm
HCMC Conservatory of Music

Hanoi: Wed 15 Nov 2017, 8 – 9.30 pm
Hanoi Opera House

From Austrian Embassy:

To celebrate the 45th ANNIVERSARY of DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS AUSTRIA-VIETNAM, you are invited to the performance “The fifth cardinal direction”, a composition by Gregor Siedl & Cao Thanh Lan.

The fifth cardinal direction can be found in ancient Asian-, Native American- and Indo-European cultures and represents the center, the here and now, the inner self. This composition is an introspective journey to the inner self and its transformations during a person’s lifetime.

During their concert tour and working time in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl have been fascinated by the difference between people from different cultures but also realize how similar we are as human beings. We all have to be born, grow up, love, to be loved, work, create and inevitably pass away. We all celebrate these crucial points of transformation of our inner-self in one form or another and music has always played an important role in these moments as a gateway to the immaterial world and our subconscious mind.

The composers have a background in contemporary European music. At the same time they have great interest and appreciation for folk music – music that comes directly from the heart of people, real life and has been passed on for a multitude of generations, a music that is very particular to each culture but still universal as it expresses human feelings in an immediate way.

In „The fifth cardinal direction“, they developed a musical language comprised of contemporary music compositional methods and specific contemporary instrumental techniques. The musical language also draws inspiration specifically from the vocal music of ethnic minorities in Northern Vietnam, in particular those of the red Dao, Hmong and Lolo people.

Most of the melody instruments like khen, sao, ken la, sona, pi pap, pi thiu, etc. imitate the human voice and therefore have singing qualities in regard of phrasing, range, melodic ornamentation and articulation. The text used in the composition is for the most part a fantasy language, so that the listeners can focus on the musicality and the expressiveness of the language rather than focusing on the meaning of the text.

The six acts of this composition each relates to a landmark or transitional period in a person’s life: birth, maturity, love, work and creation, (self-) destruction and re-birth.


Nguyễn Kim Oanh – voice
Gregor Siedl – clarinet, tăm lay, electronics
Cao Thanh Lan – synthesizer, daxophone, electronics
Lữ Mạnh Cường – percussion, pí thiu

For more info:


Free tickets available from Thursday, 9/11/2017 from 9:00 to 16:00 at:

Austrian Embassy in Hanoi
8th Floor, Prime Centre Building, 53 Quang Trung, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
Tel.: 024. 3943 3050

Austrian Honorary Consulate in Ho Chi Minh
121/40 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien Ward, Dist 2, HCMC
Tel: 028. 3519 3128

Follow updates on the event pages in Hanoi and HCMC

Excerpts from a concert by Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl in Uruguay in April 2017:

Related post:
Music Night “Parallel Asteroid” features Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl on Nov 17 in Hanoi.

Hanoi Opera House
01 Trang Tien Str, Hanoi
HCMC Conservatory of Music
112 Nguyen Du Str, Dist 1, HCMC


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