Singing Under the Aurora


Han Xiaohan

Museum of Impossible Forms warmly welcomes composer and musician Han Xiaohan. Han will share music from his native Manchuria accompanied by reflections on Northern shamanism and the profound role of music within these ancient practices.

Han Xiaohan is a composer who has been involved in music and stage performances since 1993. Since 2003, he has focused on collecting, organising, and reinterpreting the music of the Tungusic-Manchu people, his own ethnic group. For more than two decades, Han has been committed to studying traditional Manchu music and recreating it based on the original Manchu structure. In order to research shamanic music, he has visited dozens of remote Manchu villages in both Northeast China and the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia to make field recordings. Manchu culture and music are relatively unknown and are disappearing day by day. As a result, Han is committed to learning the Manchu language and music, and he continually experiments, combining and integrating both aspects into his compositions. He has an extensive portfolio of film scores, songs, and music inspired by Manchu folklore and mythology, including the Ulabun epic. His music is based on the principles of ethnomusicology, applying modern Western compositional methods. Han often combines poetry with songwriting.

Alongside the concert, Cooking Disorders & Comrades (Kristiina Koskentola & co) will serve delights for crows and spirits; spiced and fragrant mouthfuls with Manchurian and Mongolian milk tea. Bringing together shamanic music from Manchuria, vibrations of the universe, fumes of spices, and nutrition.

While rooted in the context of Koskentola’s long-term transdisciplinary project Enfleshed, this event at the Museum of Impossible Forms simultaneously celebrates the kick-off for a new iteration in the long-term collaboration between the artists. The research is kindly funded by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Nordic Culture Fund.

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