I have produced, with collaboration from Dr. Sonia Ng, seven CDs on the naamyam songs performed by the blind singer Dou Wun that I recorded in 1975 in Hong Kong. The CDs are published by the Music Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and distributed by Bailey Record Company (Hong Kong). Each CD set includes a booklet of essays and the complete song text. The DVD was published and distributed by the History Museum (Hong Kong). The documentation of this work is in “Voices of Hong Kong: the Reconstruction of a Performance in a Teahouse” in Critical Zone No. 3 (2009), 37-56. [For information on this project, see yung_bell_voicesofhongkong_critical_zone.pdf]
CD set 1, 2 discs. 2007.
Naamyam Songs of Love and Longing.
Sung by the blind singer Dou Wun (1910-1979), recorded live in the Fu Long Teahouse of Hong Kong in 1975. Naamyam, or “Southern Tone”, was a narrative tradition and a major form of entertainment in the Cantonese-speaking communities in the Pearl River Delta. Dou was its last professional singer. The CD set contains five of the best known naamyam songs:
Man Burning His Garments 男燒衣
Lamenting Through the Five Watches 嘆五更
Farewell My Concubine 霸王別姬
The Wayfarer's Autumnal Regret 客途秋恨
Woman Burning Her Garments 女燒衣
CD set 2, 6 discs. 2008.
Blind Dou Wun Remembers His Past:
50 Years of Singing Naamyam in Hong Kong
This 6-hour autobiographical song is a remarkable achievement by the famed Naamyam singer Dou Wun (1910-1979) recorded a few years before he died, a song unique in the storytelling repertory. Dou’s song began with his childhood in a farming village. After various adventures in Guagzhou and Macau, he came to Hong Kong in 1926 as a teenager to sing in brothels and opium dens, and witnessing the momentous changes of the city in half a century, and the steady decline in the popularity of Naamyam.
《憶往》是杜煥晚年時自創史詩， 共六小時三萬字，在南音傳統曲目中絕無僅有，把一生歷程娓娓道來，唱出心聲 。杜師從一九二六年到香港後渡過了五十多個寒暑，因此《憶往》也就是香港二十到七十年代的寫照，從戰前，日據、光復，到經濟發展成熟一段歷史的見證，是一位失明的民間藝人“眼中”的香港故事。
CD set 3, 1 disc. 2011
"Rare Recordings of Melodies from a Bygone Age:
The Cantonese Narrative Styles of Banyan, Longzhou, and Yue’ou"
The Lovers’ Squabble (sung by Dou Wun with Banyan melody)
Wu Song Offers Sacrifices (sung by Dou Wun with Longzhou melody)
Peach Blossom Fan (sung by Lee Ngan Giu with Yue’ou melody)
Hong Kong’s Cultural Treasure: 3
絕世遺音: 板眼, 龍舟, 粵謳
杜煥. 兩老契嗌交. 板眼
杜煥. 武松祭靈. 龍舟
李銀嬌. 桃花扇. 粵謳
CD set 4, 1 disc. 2012
"Two scenes from 'Jade Palm-leaf Fan' sung in the Longzhou melody"
"Jade Palm-leaf Fan" is among the best-known family saga in the Cantonese vernaucular literature, and has been often performed as Cantonese Opera or Naamyam narrative song style. This version is being sung in the Longzhou style ("Dragon Boat"), a genre that is seldom performed today.
CD set 5, 1 disc, 2013
"The Blind Musician Dou Wun Offers Auspicious Songs for Festive Occasions"
In old Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou, during public calendric festivals, opening of a businesses, and private family celebrations such as birthdays and weddings, blind singers would bestow their blessings in songs sung in the styles of naamyam (Southern Tune) or lungzau (Dragon Boat). This recording includes the naamyam songs "The Eight Immortals’ Birthday Greeting, a naamyam song" and "The Heavenly Official Bestows Blessings", and a lungzau song a naamyam song
"All Wishes Come True"
過去在省港澳，每到新年、元宵等喜慶節日，常見瞽師手持彩木龍舟，沿街獻唱龍舟。大戶家有喜慶，或店舖新張，瞽師藝人會在門前唱曲賀慶，賺取紅包。本輯收錄已故香港瞽師杜煥 (1910-79) 所唱經典喜慶南音和龍舟曲目，善頌善禱，祝願福壽康寧，人所樂聽。
CD set 6, 3 discs, 2015
"The Birth of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy"
Guanyin, the most important deity in Chinese culture, is widely believed to be infinitely merciful in saving the multitude from pain and suffering. Dou Wun was often invited to sing during Guanyin’s birthday celebrations on the 19th day of the 3rd lunar month. A complete performance of the Guanyin story would last seven days, three hours each day. The first four days would be devoted to her first eight incarnations (two of them as males), while the last three days would be on her ninth and final incarnation, when she achieved enlightenment and became a Buddha. This version consists of only the ninth incarnation.
CD set 7, 2 discs, 2016
Literary Masterpieces Sung in Naamyam style by Dou Wun
The four songs in this set are stories from China’s celebrated literary masterpieces, All Men are Brothers, The Dream of the Red Chamber, The Story of the Jade Pin, and Love Reincarnate.
CD set 8, 2 discs, 2019
DVD "A Blind Singer's Story: 50 years of Life and Work in Hong Kong"
Produced and distributed by the Hong Kong Museum of History. 2004.
This 50-minute DVD consists of excerpts from the CD set 2 above, supplemented by interviews with Yuen Siu Fai, Bell Yung, and others. Chinese and English subtitles accompany all the song text and interviews.