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Author:Yunxia Wu (Lancaster University)
Paper short abstract:
Some British musicians started a Chinese orchestra to commemorate the victims in the tragedy of Chinese cockle pickers at the beach of Morecombe Bay. This orchestra performs for Chinese communities to celebrate Chinese New Year. They also have global journey to exchange with Chinese musicians. Through their inter- cultural communication, these British musicians practise the concept of cultural integration.
Paper long abstract:
It is not a pilgrimage; however, it is a cultural exchange. Every autumn a group of British musicians travel to Hong Kong and perform Chinese music for Hong Kong audience.
They are the local musicians from Lancashire, UK. They participate weekly rehearsal at a music centre in Morecambe Bay. During the Chinese New Year, they perform Chinese music all over the county in Chinese communities to celebrate this traditional festival.
This group is called “the Long Walk Chinese Orchestra”, which was a music project launched as the healing response for a tragedy. It happened at Morecambe Bay during the period of Chinese New Year in 2004, while twenty-three Chinese cockle pickers drowned when they worked at this beach. These people’s death and the disclosure of the modern slavery shocked the Morecambe community. As the victims were illegal immigrants from the Fujian Province of China, the musicians from Morecambe started to learn Chinese music and organised this Chinese Orchestra.
The cross- cultural musical communication was stimulated by the beach tragedy, and then it constructed and expanded a social space filled with the people and knowledge about “the other culture”. In the UK, this orchestra has connected the local people, the Chinese communities and the Chinese students from Universities. In the global view, it promotes the Chinese culture such as daily life, traditional festivals and natural sceneries through musical language.
With the interviews and discussions with these musicians, this research argues the possibility of a cultural solution to the traumatic social events. In this case the music education has been applied to improve the awareness of cultural variety and cultural integration.
Care & Community: Inspiration from Nature