The Gong Strikes One – IPNHK 2019 Musicians

The Gong Strikes One was founded in 2012 by Chan Chi-kong and Lee King-chi. The former graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, majored in Chinese Opera. The latter is a Chinese zither performer and expert of the early Cantonese music and music publishing culture. Lee is the current producer of The Gong Strikes One.

The Gong Strikes One specializes in Chinese opera and explores different performance settings of the genre, ranging from concerts, narrative singing, to theater. They showcase vocal and instrumental excerpts taken from Chinese Opera works while preserving the flavor of drama. Narrative singing is the group’s favorite form of performance, especially in their original naamyam works. Since 2015, they have been working on re-arranging the classic Chinese Opera The Purple Hairpin into a narrative singing setting together with the form of bangzi and erhuang. They gave a trial performance in 2015 and 2017, co-organized by the Central & Western District Council and the Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage. In 2017, they presented their first theatrical work, I, Wu SongA One-Man Chinese Opera at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The name of the group carries profound meanings. “Cai” is the notation of the traditional Chinese Gong and Drum Sutra and the abbreviation of the word “Chui”. The Gong Strikes One contains not only the instruments they used but also the meaning of “beating the gong and drum for ten days”, that is, to perform for ten consecutive days.

They are also known for composing site-specific naamyam works for various events in recent years, such as the Hong Kong Flower Show (2018) and Muse Fest HK (2018), Tai Kwun’s commissioned film Prison Architect (2018; Directed by Cao Fei). The group also gives talks with live demonstrations to the public on Chinese operatic music. Their recent activities include a talk on the history of Cantonese musical instruments presented by The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage and 101 Dialogue on Nanyin presented by the West Kowloon Cultural District.

At the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong this year, percussionist Lung Lok-yun will also join the two core members of The Gong Strikes One. They will give a transborder performance together with the music director and experimental musician Li Chin Sung.


一才鑼鼓旨在探索和發掘戲曲之各種表演形式,包括音樂會、說唱、劇場等。他們以展演中國戲曲的聲樂和樂器選段為主,同時也保留了當中戲劇的味道。說唱是該樂隊最喜歡的表演形式,尤其是演出原創的南音作品。從2015年開始,他們編撰《說唱紫釵》,嘗試以梆子二黃作說唱演出,於「古腔新調大戲樂中西」(2015及2017年,由中西區區議會及長春社文化古蹟資源中心合辦)試演。 2017年,他們又製作戲曲獨腳戲《俺,武松》,於香港文化中心劇場上演。樂團的名字也有深意:「才」是鑼鼓經之記譜用字,亦是「槌/錘」字之簡寫;「一才鑼鼓」除了包含所用的樂器,也是「一錘鑼鼓十日」,即連演十日演出之意。