FAMLAB Open Session to take place at The Observatory

An ethnic man plays an musical instrument in a village of central Vietnam. Forty-three master musicians and artists will join the Famlab (Film, Archive and Music Lab) Residency and Outdoor Concert in the ancient town of Hoi An and Da Nang City as part of the project Heritage of Future Past on June 6-25. - VNS Photo Cong Thanh


The British Council in Vietnam said this residency forms part of the FAMLAB strand of ongoing Heritage of Future Past project and is organised in conjunction with Lune Production and Phu Sa Lab including music director Nguyen Nhat Ly and members of the Seaphony Orchestra.

It said the Famlab hailed from different parts of Vietnam and the United Kingdom, and participating masters and artists will work together towards in-depth musical exchanges and sharing on indigenous forms of Vietnamese music at this historical town in central Vietnam including K’ni instrument (Central Highland of Vietnam) – Paranưng drum (Chăm people) – đàn nhị, or two-string instrument (Northwest of Vietnam), and Seaphony (Lune Production).

The FAMLAB Residency and Concert will reflect the indigenous music from the northwest, Central Highlands and south central regions of Vietnam – where a large Chăm population is based, with participation of master musicians from the provinces of Tuyen Quang, Lai Chau, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Binh Thuan.

The event will include the joint participation of artists from Phu Sa Lab (Hanoi); Nguyen Nhat Ly (music director for Lune Production performances), Nguyen Duc Minh and Quyen Thien Dac, alongside special guest-composer Ngoc Dai and the Dan Gio Group (known for self-made instruments inspired by indigenous music and quotidian objects), and singer Do Nguyen Mai Khoi.

The initiative will also feature three contemporary Scottish musicians known for their innovative approaches to sonic traditions: Tom Bancroft (drum set and bodhran drum), Esther Swift (harp) and David Shedden (bagpipes), as such creating a platform for exploring symbiosis and resonances between Vietnam’s and Scotland’s indigenous music forms, in all their parallels.

The British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, will culminate with a free, outdoor concert inside Dong Hiep Cultural Park in Hoi An City on June 25, introducing works developed by artists throughout the programme.

Heritage of Future Past is a two-year project delivered through the British Council’s Culture and Development initiative to explore the use of cultural heritage for growth to benefit all levels of society.

FAMLAB, which launched in 2018, seeks to create opportunities for communities across the country to contribute to – and benefit from – the safeguarding and reinvigoration of their cultural heritage.

Project activities are focused on research, documentation, conservation, training and capacity building (including oral teaching techniques), experimentation and innovation, advocacy and education (including policy and community dialogues), and the re-imagination and revitalisation of cultural heritage via contemporary practices.