By Selina Mao
Divergent like the colors of a vivacious painting, that is the life of Tansy Cai. Seven days a week dedicated to her aspirations, including her love for performance and visual art. With a heritage rooting back to China, Tansy values this part of her with great competency in the instrument Guzheng. The existence of Guzheng, also known as the Chinese zither, dates back to the ancient times of 475 to 221 BCE, during the Warring States period. As a unique, multicultural individual, she has prodigious expectations to blending her many talents. In specific, integrating the characteristics of western music with the traditional basis of oriental instruments, or even more specifically playing Moves Like Jagger on the Guzheng. Her first step in reaching this goal was founding the Chinese Instrument Club at Collingwood.
With only a year of experience in Guzheng, Tansy strives in competitions and performances for advanced instrumentalists. She sees music as the “grey area”, where risks can be taken freely without fear of repercussions. She believes the aspects in which she embraces art are profoundly different, like her hobby of Irish dancing contrasted to her interest in Guzheng. She sees this as the evidence of her eccentricity, in her words “that’s why it’s a good combination, the way I merge two far-fetched, unrelated things”. Tansy’s influences and inspirations come from her simple attraction to the hidden layers of an uncomplicated instrument. Her love for Irish dance was sprouted in the same way; she was intrigued by the way few steps can come together in an emotionally fulfilling routine.
Along with her interests in the music and dance, Tansy it also embellished with a skill in visual arts, especially the use of water colors. Her well-rounded traits in the different categories of art, compounds her understanding and fulfillment in exhibiting these talents. She has pointed out that every time she plays her instrument, she at the same time, is illustrating a landscape with what seeps through the music and choreographing movements that accent this background.
Currently, Tansy wishes to expand her club and the knowledge and use of oriental instruments. The Chinese Instruments Club’s first performance will be scheduled in a few months, which has ignited great excitement. Tansy has made clear that her club does not only include the use of Chinese instruments but also involve instruments such a violin and chelo. Their goal is to portray and demonstrate the spirit of blending cultures, so there is no limit in instrument involvement. Some of the instruments they have so far include the guzheng, violin, drums, piano, hulusi and chelo. When inquired about her development of these interests in the future, Tansy stated that she “will always love music, and uncovering the layers of an intricate design”.