Truc Mai Musical House – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
With a great passion for traditional Vietnamese music, the adorable musician couple Mai and Linh have transformed their house into a Truc Mai music house where visitors can come, enjoy a traditional music performance and try their hands on over 20 instruments including monochord zither, two-chord fiddle and bamboo xylophone.
The Truc Mai music house is just a 10-minute-drive from the city center, standing on a small alley amidst a bustling residential district with newly built roads and skyscrapers. From the outside, this five-story building is just like any other private house in the neighborhood. However, behind the closed door and just several steps across the small inner courtyard, a totally different world awaits, filled with a mesmerizing melody you might never have heard before. There is no raised stage, no backstage and no curtain that prepares you for a performance. A small room has been transformed into a simple air-conditioned theatre that can accommodate a few dozen members of the audience. The theatre is partitioned from other rooms with bamboo curtains and warmly lit with yellow light, creating a cozy ambiance. Its walls are richly adorned with various traditional zithers and a plethora of pictures of performances by the artist couple Mai and Linh. Every show proceeds from bamboo flutes and the H’mong ethnic community’s jaw harp in the North to the Central Highland’s bamboo xylophone and lithopone, and ends with some Southern tunes played on monochord zither.
No matter how tired you are after a day of exploring the city, you will find yourself refreshed and in high spirits again after immersing in the traditional Vietnamese music.