About Henry JohnsonMy primary field of research is the study of people making music. My research outputs mainly have a social focus, with much work crossing other disciplinary fields (e.g., Asian Studies, Japanese Studies, Island Studies, Diaspora Studies, Performance Studies and Cultural Studies). The ethnographic component of my research methods includes original field research in diverse contexts, including Japan, small island cultures (e.g., Japanese small islands, and the Channel Islands), and New Zealand.
A few slit drums for sale in Wellington (May 2022).
Talking about the history of Chinese music in Aotearoa New Zealand at the 17th Crossover Dialogues International Conference on Performing Arts Studies, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan.
Johnson, Henry. 2022. Chee Kung Tong and Diasporic Sound in New Zealand: The Wellington Chinese Masonic Society’s Collection of Musical Instruments. The Galpin Society Journal 75: 157–173; 192 [ISSN: 0072-0127]
“Auckland-based duo Ersha Island is the musical amalgamation of two Chinese-Kiwi singer-songwriters inspired by their biracial upbringing.
Having chalked up early achievements in Classical Performance at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing, sisters Dani and Tee now create mesmerising and memorable soul-pop compositions featuring their piano and violin pedigree.
Ersha Island performed at Grrrl Fest (Hamilton, 2021), and have been writing new music in both English and Mandarin; they will release their debut singles Gut Feeling and Good Day on 22-2-22 on both Western and Asian/Chinese platforms.
“Zoe Li is a Chinese violin—(erhu, which instrument has only two string) player and teacher in Wellington. She has finished her Bachelor of Music at Wintec, Hamilton in 2019 and she is currently a post-graduate music student at Victoria University (Wellington Kelburn Campus). Within her classical career, Zoe has worked with lots of quartets, ensembles and Orchestras all over the world, including Beijing string ensemble, NZ ECPF quartet, Singapore folk orchestra and so on. She has six years of 6 teaching experience and loves teaching erhu to students from age 5 to adult.
Zoe started to learn erhu when she was 6 years old. At the age of 15 Zoe began taking private lessons from a famous erhu player in China, named Sun Huang and during the same year gained her Grade 10 exam for C.M.C.A (Chinese Music Cultural Arts). In 2005 she competed in Beijing’s Strings Music competition and was awarded the silver award for second place. In 2008, she was invited to play the erhu in the “Bird Nest” performance during the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2017, she met John Key and received the gold award in the World Art Festival. In 2019, she received “ Rising Star” at Final Round of Melbourne International Shaoqin Erhu Competition. Alongside playing traditional Chinese folk music, Zoe has found a love for blues and jazz. She has performed in Electronica Musical “CHOLE AND THE CHOSTS OF ELECTRIC SOULDS” with the great music doctor Jeremy Mayall.
“Music education can help spark a child’s imagination or ignite a lifetime of passion. When you provide a child with new worlds to explore and challenges to tackle, the possibilities are endless. Music education should not be a privilege for a lucky few, it should be a part of every child’s world of possiblity.” Zoe love to stimulate student’s creativity and imagination through the erhu !”(https://ratastudios.co.nz/individual-instrument-lessons/erhu-chinese-violin/)
“The Erhu – We are taking expressions of interest in learning the erhu, a traditional two-stringed bowed Chinese instrument. Contact Ann Shaffer at the office for details.
Zoe Li has been playing the erhu since she was 6 years old and has a wealth of musical experience. In 2008 Zoe was invited to play in the “Birds Nest” performance during the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and received the gold award in the World Art Festival in 2016. Zoe has found a love for blues and jazz music also, and enrolled in the BA Commercial Music at Wintec in 2017.
The erhu is a very versatile instrument and is used in both traditional and contemporary music arrangements. It is also very beautiful!” (https://www.facebook.com/waikatocommunityschoolofmusic/photos/the-erhu-we-are-taking-expressions-of-interest-in-learning-the-erhu-a-traditiona/1545691658818021/ 23 March 2018)
Performers at the Opening Ceremony of the Chinese Cultural Festival.
File reference: CCL-2013-12-18-Chinese-Cultural-Festival-November-2013 IMG_5452.JPG
Photo taken by Song Yang.
From the collection of Christchurch City Libraries.