Nu-Shu: The Secret Songs of Women
Dramatic Symphony for Solo Harp, Orchestra and 12 Short Music Films
By Tan Dun
Tan Dun has preserved yet another musical tapestry of his culture by sharing an ancient women’s secret language through the voice of the harp. From a remote village in his Hunan home, Tan Dun bonded with the last remaining women who practice this secret code, nu shu –“ women’s writing” – the only gender-based written language to have been found in the world. Messages written in Nu-Shu along the folds of a secret fan or embroidered in cloth were the only means for a woman to communicate to her sisters. Through the feminine form of the harp this women’s secret society will be revealed.
“My hope is to use my instrument as a vehicle to empower women so that they might create their own fate, not to be bound by fate. We are unfortunately still living in a world where millions of women are victims to discrimination and violence. Tan’s ability to give an ancient civilization a current voice is remarkable.” – Elizabeth Hainen