More About the Fire and Bronze Lửa Đông Sơn Concert & Cultural Exhibit

History of Lửa Đông Sơn
Traditionally agricultural, Việt Nam is one of the oldest regions in South-East and East Asia. Evidence suggests that the land of today’s Việt Nam has been inhabited since Paleolithic times (10,000 years BC or earlier). Numerous archaeological sites in Northern Viet Nam indicate that  the Vietnamese civilization began in the late Neolithic-early Bronze Age Province between 2000 and 1400 BC. This early civilization, known as the Phùng Nguyên culture, was centered in what is now Vĩnh Phúc Province. By about 1200 BC, the development of wet-rice cultivation and indigenous bronze casting in the Red River floodplains led to the development of the prominent Đông Sơn culture, notable for its elaborate bronze drums.

Similar to some other ancient cultures of the world, Vietnamese believed in the five basic elements of the material world: Metal (Kim); Water (Thuỷ); Earth (Thổ); Wood (Mộc) and Fire (Hoả/ Lửa).
Bronze, a metal element (Kim) is closely identified with the Drums of the ancient Bronze Age Đông Sơn culture. The drums are found in areas ranging from South China through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to the Southeast Asian Islands. To the ancient Vietnamese, the drums were also used as burial vessels for high ranking officials, items of religious worship, and as a musical instrument with unsurpassed heroic sounds. It’s unique resonance carried messages through tropical jungles and open fields, calling warriors to arms, and rallying tribes against enemies.

A replica Đông Sơn drum will be performed by Vân-Anh Vanessa Võ contrasting the dynamic sound from the guitar of guest artist, jazz master Nguyên Lê. Vân-Ánh Trio includes Jimi Nakagawa with taiko drum and Aaron Germain with Bass.  She will play other Vietnamese instruments such as the zither Đàn Tranh, monochord Đàn Bầu, and bamboo xylophone Đàn T’rưng.

Fire and Bronze Lửa Đông Sơn strives to promote and maintain Vietnamese heritage through performances and cultural events to the community. A small exhibit of ancient Đông Sơn drum and several drum rubbings will be open to the public on Saturday Nov 3, 2012 at the Rose Center.

A Word from the Producer
In early 2011, I had the excellent luck of meeting Vân-Ánh, an amazing musician and artist. Immediately, I was struck by her passion to preserve and elevate the traditional đàn tranh music to the world stage. To reinvent the music and her own artistry, Vân-Ánh continues to seek out mentors from different music traditions: western, classical, jazz. Through her exploration, I met Nguyên Lê from Paris. Both Vân-Ánh and Nguyên are passionate artists who generously engage the community and world in their music. Their collaboration brings citizens of the world together to create, play and celebrate their work, their culture, their music and art. It’s an honor to be part of this collaboration. – Cathy Lam June 2012

About the Founding Sponsors
Center for Encouragement of Self Reliance (CESR)
Since 1999, Center for Encouragement of Self Reliance (CESR), recognized by the United States as a 501 (c) (3) charity organization, operates Trung Tâm Khuyến Khích Tự Lập (TTKKTL) in Huế, Vietnam, helps poor children with warm winter clothes, gives scholarships, and assists more than 20,000 families in over 35 communities with micro-loans to pursue a trade to be self-reliant. Currently TTKKTL endeavors to help teach 10,000 poor children to swim and to establish toilet facilities at the marketplaces in collaboration with the local communities in Thừa Thiên-Huế province. CESR also provides matching grants to many VA-NGOs who help needy Vietnamese inside or outside Vietnam.The United Nations conferred to CESR the UN Habitat – Civil Society Innovation Award in 2008.

CHEER for Viet Nam (Cultural, Health, Education and Environment Resources)
Since its inception in 1993, CHEER for Viet Nam, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization based in California, has been dedicated to economic, educational and cultural projects that improve the quality of the lives of disadvantaged children and people in Viet Nam; enhance cross-cultural understanding, educational exchange and collaboration between Viet Nam and the United States; contribute to the building of trust, tolerance, and peace among peoples.

We believe in simple living in our shared world. We promote sustainable choices for food, water, energy, transportation and housing.

Our current focus is on Solar Energy Aplliances (SEA) with PhotoVoltaic solar ceiling fans for ventilation, and cooling the building while keeping insects and mosquitoes away; Bep Lo Xanh Rocket Stoves to reduce indoor air pollution and deforestation; Youth Media PSA project on Making Healthy Choices, Building Healthy Community.

Project Viet Nam Foundation
Project Vietnam Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and healthcare of people living in underserved rural communities of Viet Nam. We carry out this mission through providing free healthcare services throughout the country, medical training of local healthcare professionals, and advocacy to improve healthcare policies.

VA NGO Network
The VA NGO Network (“Network”) is an alliance of Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Organizations with programs in Việt Nam. Its mission is to strengthen its members’ abilities to have a broad impact in humanitarian and development work in Vietnam by building a united voice on issues of common interest, and delivering practical benefits to our members through technical and capacity-building assistance.

In order to realize its mission, the Network carries out a number of activities, including conducting capacity-building workshops in Việt Nam and the US for staff and local partners of Network members. These workshops cover a whole range of topics, including: community health and well-being, education, social work, etc.

About the Producer
Cathy Lâm is an advocate for environmental sustainability and co-founder of Our1World. Our1World, established in 2005, facilitates numerous projects to assist families and children in Việt Nam. These projects include Solar Energy Appliances, such as Photovoltaic Solar Ceiling Fans and Bếp Lò Xanh Rocket Stove to reduce deforestation while aiming at reducing indoor air pollution health risks. Cathy sponsors and conducts annual workshops in Vietnam with the VA NGO Network to teach Nutrition and Healthy Living with an emphasis on the environment. Cathy was actively involved with Soymilk Nutritional Supplement Program. Her current projects include youth media PSA Public Service Announcement on Making Healthy Choices, Building Healthy Communities. She is active in watershed issues, and the preservation and restoration of Newport Bay. Since 2003, she has driven over 165K miles in her full electric vehicle powered mostly by the sun. This is Cathy’s second year as a producer.

Contact Us
For more information on the Fire and Bronze Lửa Đông Sơn Concert and Cultural Event:
Or call Cathy Lam at: 714.330.3589

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