Secret Garden Joins Hands With Chinese Artists

Secret Garden, the best-known Norwegian band in Asia, held a concert with the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra and Chinese artist Ma Xiaohui on Sept 25.

Secret Garden performed their hit songs Nocturne, You Raise Me Up and Powered By Nature, the latter being the official theme tune of the Norway Pavilion.

Ma delighted a local audience with his prowess at the erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument akin to the violin.

Norwegian pianist Rolf Lovland, who makes up one half of the band alongside Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry, said it was fun to team up with Chinese artists for the “Norwegian Evening” performance.

“We felt extremely excited as we received the warm applause from Chinese audiences on that night. The second time we cooperated with Ma was as perfect as we expected prior to the concert, and we should try it again sometime, ” he said.

Lovland wrote Powered By Nature and an orchestral suite especially for the 2010 Expo. Guests can buy the CD/DVD at the pavilion’s gift shop for 60 yuan.

“When I was asked to compose the music for the Expo, the creative director told me that they wanted me to express what I feel it means to me to be a Norwegian composer today,” he said.

“To be a part of the Expo and to compose and perform the music has been a very exciting event for Secret Garden. The CD/DVD captures these moments and is a very important release for us.”

To fit with the theme and architectural style of the pavilion, the band concentrated on symbolizing through music the natural coastal scenery of Norway, he said.

Secret Garden has performed in China numerous times over the last decade, including four times this year. It has cooperated with several Chinese musicians, and many of the band’s songs are influenced by traditional Chinese music.

“We are now approaching organizers about having a China concert tour next year, which hopefully will happen,” he said. “I believe the Expo has the possibility to connect people. It has also become a window into Norwegian culture. The Expo Suite and the song Powered by Nature will live on as part of our own musical repertoire.”


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