Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Tsung Tsung is why I am bullish on China

May 20th, 2013 2 comments

Video below was taken about a year ago, then 5-year old Tsung Tsung exhibiting what a piano prodigy he was. This is obviously raw talent and true passion. It would have been a shame for not Tsung Tsung’s parents affording him the piano and the lessons. Tsung Tsung is another example of why I am bullish on China. The hundreds of millions of Chinese finally moving out of the farms, away from playing in the dirt, are finally getting a chance to unleash their potential. That’s all due to stable development. When James Fallows told the Anglophone media that the Chinese have no dream, well, we were the first to tell him: shove it!

Suzhou Pingtan (苏州评弹): 姑苏十二娘

April 28th, 2013 1 comment

A civilization of 1.3 billion and having a continuous history of thousands of years can only mean one thing: it’s language and culture should have both amazing breath and depth. One of my hobbies is to rediscover this richness that’s accorded me through my heritage. I want people around me to relish in what Chinese culture has to offer. Recently, I discovered Suzhou Pingtan (苏州评弹), an interesting oral artform accompanied usually by musical instruments or props to tell a story. Its roots are Suzhou and Jiangsu (江苏) in the 1600’s. The performance below is done by a large group, a modern rendition I suppose, though I think two or three performers are the norm. I lament my Chinese language is poor, because the prose and the stories are often delivered in amazing eloquence (Chinese language can be extremely compact while character combinations provide context enabling further reduction in number of characters needed).

Abigail Washburn: Building US-China relations … by banjo

December 22nd, 2012 4 comments

As Abigail Washburn shows us with her banjo and music, it’s actually really easy to connect with the Chinese and yet be so captivating. What an awesome soul!

When America throws her weight around with petty politics, she is squandering her privileged position to affect our world towards greater good. Judging from the audiences response, I guess I am encouraged her message is not lost. To the Americans who engage China and the world with a heart like Washburn, bless you.

Chinese Music Video

November 27th, 2012 2 comments

This music video has been circulating amongst PLA enthusiasts back home; pretty cute.

On China’s Got Talent, husband begs for a chance for his wife to sing

September 23rd, 2012 No comments

I came across this video couple of days ago of a failed performance on China’s Got Talent, but the contestant begged the judges instead for a chance for his wife to sing. I was deeply moved by this couple, their modest means to life. The song the wife end up singing is about a toast between two friends. In many ways, the song is about the two of them too. Friendship alone can defeat a mountain of bitterness. When thinking about China’s last couple of centuries, I am of the same mood too.

Categories: aside, music Tags:


August 21st, 2012 2 comments

刀郎和云朵的声音太美了! 下面是他们唱的老歌: “十送红军.” 我小的时侯听过这首歌. 不知道是那一年代的. 你认识吗?长征时候的红军真正了不起.

“Because of Love” by a father and his 3 years old daughter

June 2nd, 2012 2 comments

June 1 is the official children’s day in China. To the fathers who are musicians, athletes, artists, or simple laymen who have found ways to impart something they love to their children, it’s pure bliss. Following performance is by a singer with his 3 years old daughter, titled, “Because of Love” (“因为爱情“). It has become a big hit in China. Happy Children’s Day! Read more…

“国家” by 成龙 and 美和

December 24th, 2011 8 comments

In an earlier comment I talked about the importance of “国家,” and having just watched this music video by Jacky Chan (成龙) in duet with MEI He (美和) paying homage to that same idea made my day. Without a strong enough country, there is no freedom.

Categories: music, video Tags: , ,

“Jasmine Flower” (茉莉花)

December 7th, 2011 No comments

Yu Hongmei 于红梅 Erhu 二胡
Zhao Cong 赵聪 Pipa 琵琶
Chen Yue 陈悦 Dizi 笛子
Ji Wei 吉炜 Guzheng 古筝

Read more…

Taking the good parts

November 29th, 2011 No comments

Following is a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in Chinese. It’s a delightful performance. The Chinese performance struck me for having taken the music (in my opinion the great part) and replacing the lyrics (in my opinion the not so great part) with something that is much more palatable. While China has many problems to overcome, she is also benefiting from experiences in societies abroad. The benefit of coming from behind is you have the luxury to pick and choose. Not to mention, who would imagine there’s a connection between Lady Gaga and grandma’s and grandpa’s in China!

Categories: culture, music, video Tags:

“Tell Me Why” by 钟辰乐 (Zhong Chenyue) and 徐泽辉 (Xu Zehui)

November 28th, 2011 No comments

(Here is another performance by 钟辰乐 (Zhong Chen Yue) singing “Memory” accompanied by an orchestra. I think I still prefer his China’s Got Talent version from a while ago.)

“飞天乐舞” by 赵聪 (Zhao Cong on pipa) and 陈曦 (Chen Xi on violin)

August 5th, 2011 No comments

Categories: culture, music, video Tags: , , ,

【每日歌曲 720HD】”寒江雪” by 储兰兰 and 郑源

July 25th, 2011 3 comments

Some poetry buffs may want to offer a translation for the following song. My take is it is about ‘departure’ between a couple. The mood of it might resonate with some of you, perhaps over those who departed in the recent train crash and bus accident. The song is neat in combining modern pop and traditional Chinese opera. I have always appreciated Chinese artists who bridges the past with the new, linking the older generation with the young. (Another example here.)

( version)
Read more…

Categories: culture, music, video Tags: , ,

9-year-old Zhong Chenle (钟辰乐) sings “Memory” on China’s Got Talent

July 10th, 2011 1 comment

I dare say, I think I like the boy’s version more than Barbra Streisand’s. Zhong Chenle says he found the song on his own over the Internet, and his older brother taught him the lyrics.

( version)


June 10th, 2011 1 comment

Following is a story of triumph about 高逸峰 (Gao Yifeng) on the wildly popular “中国达人秀” (“China’s Got Talent”) show. According to the Baike page, Gao once owned a very large business. Through mismanagement, his company went bankrupt. He re-emerged into a much more modest endeavor. Below is my translation of his conversation with the judge before he performs, “从头再来.” This song is one of my favorite, and with Gao bearing his battle scar while performing it, I can see how he was able to move his audience to tears.

Judge: What are you performing?
Gao Yifeng: Sing a song
Judge: Where are you from?
Gao Yifeng: Anhui
Judge: How old are you?
Gao Yifeng: 49
Judge: Your hair is very special. It looks great. Did you color it or is it naturally that way?
Read more…

牧羊曲 by 张璐 (Zhang Lu) on 古筝 (Gu Zheng)

June 2nd, 2011 No comments

Remember “the Shaolin Temple” mega hit in 1982 starring Jet Li? Following is “牧羊曲” (“Mu Yang qu”) performed on a 古筝 (Gu Zheng) by 张璐 (Zhang Lu).

( version)

Tibet’s “天路” (“Heaven Road”)

April 30th, 2011 6 comments

The video below is about the 青藏铁路 (Qingzang railway) connecting Tibet Autonomous Region’s Lhasa and Qinghai Province’s Xining. Much of the 2000km railway is an engineering marvel. One, for it’s 5000 meter elevation and rough terrain and another for where the tracks have to work on top of permafrosts (where the ice could melt depending on the time of the year). It opened in 2006 connecting the autonomous region to the rest of China’s railway networks. Singers 阿兰达瓦卓玛 (Alan Dawa Dolma, or simply known as Alan or 阿兰) and 韩红 (Han Hong) performed “天路” (“Heaven Road”) in tribute to this important project that Dr. Sun Yat-sen had first proposed around the turn of the century.
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How to win the hearts and minds of 1.3 billion Chinese people

April 24th, 2011 5 comments

Serenade Chairman Mao and pay homage to the Communist Party as Nigerian born Uwechue Emmanuel (in Chinese, 郝歌 (Hao Ge)) managed to do on CCTV through popular Chinese song, “草原上升起不落的太阳.” Chinese people love their motherland and harmony. Intonation must be impeccable. Race is irrelevant.

( version here)

2011年春节联欢晚会 “想家” by 西单女孩

February 5th, 2011 2 comments

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – 难忘今宵 – 尾声

February 5th, 2011 1 comment

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – 马铃响来玉鸟唱

February 5th, 2011 No comments

( version)

2011年春节联欢晚会 – “春天里” – 旭日阳刚组合

February 3rd, 2011 5 comments

( version)

“南海姑娘” (“South China Sea Girl”)

January 10th, 2011 No comments

“南海姑娘” (“Girl from South China Sea”)
赵聪 (Zhao Cong) on 琵琶 (pipa)
秦万民 (Qin Wanmin) on 吉他 (guitar)

( version)

“Fragrance of Jasmine (茉莉芬芳),” a GuZheng solo (古筝独奏)

January 4th, 2011 No comments

Below is another take on the “茉莉花” (“Jasmine Flower”) melody which I made a post about roughly a year ago. This time it is based on a solo on the GuZheng (古筝).

( version here)

“中国之最” by 徐子巍 and 姚贝娜

December 19th, 2010 15 comments

徐子巍 and 姚贝娜 are incredible vocalists. I love their voices. Great looking duo too. Here, they sing “中国之最,” about various geographies making China special. How about that? China is able to cherish such things; why won’t the West reach within and find few things to celebrate? To me, this is a big cultural difference.

( version)

Categories: music, video Tags: , ,

大汗颂 (Great Khan) by 郭尔罗斯组合 (Gorlos Band)

November 28th, 2010 No comments

Below is a performance by the Gorlos Band (郭尔罗斯组合), entitled “Great Khan” (“大汗颂”), at a music competition carried on CCTV. There is a mixture of throat singing and the Mongolian morin khur. It’s a really neat composition to say the least. The thing that struck me while watching this video is the fact that China’s continued lifting of millions of people out of poverty means more people will be freed to pursue other activities like music and art. More Chinese becoming more affluent means there will be greater demand and thus market for things uniquely whatever China is a composite of. Mongolian, Tibetan, Han, or whatever the inspiration, we are certain to see the ongoing explosion of things to come that is of China.

( version if you are inside China)

柳叶湖美 (Beautiful Willow Lake) by 陈思思 (Chen Sisi)

November 23rd, 2010 No comments

(Youtube version if you are outside of China)

One Billion People on the Move

October 13th, 2010 No comments

About a year ago, I wrote, ““Father’s Prairie, Mother’s River” – the feelings of one billion people on the move.” I estimated China in few decades will have moved about one billion people from the country side into cities. Yes, that’s one billion people! This is a stressful but necessary transformation as China continues to industrialize. Below is that same video I used in the original post to help illustrate one of the feelings of this transformation – that of longing for childhood home (for lyric and meaning follow link to my original post):

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Armless Pianist Liu Wei, an inspiration for the world, wins ‘China’s Got Talent’

October 13th, 2010 1 comment

Few weeks ago I made a brief intro to armless pianist Liu Wei on “China’s Got Talent.” Liu Wei has now won. Lyndsey Parker has followed the competition, and here she continued her coverage, “Armless Pianist Liu Wei Wows & Wins On ‘China’s Got Talent’.”

And this past weekend, Liu won the entire competition with a tear-jerking and inspiring performance of James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful”–complete with English-language singing–in front of a capacity audience at Shanghai Stadium.

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中秋節, Mid-Autumn Festival

September 22nd, 2010 No comments

中秋節, Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in China, perhaps second only to the Spring Festival (or the Chinese New Year). For 2010, it falls on September 22nd. It coincides with a full moon on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese calendar, so there is no fixed date according to Gregorian. That has been the way mid-autumn was figured since ancient times.

“Mid-Autumn” first appeared in “Rites of the Zhou”, a collection of ritual matters of the Western Zhou Dynasty some 3,000 years ago. During the Tang Dynasty (618AD – 907AD), this tradition took a strong foot hold. It celebrates harvests and family reunions. This same tradition exists throughout the rest of Asia today.
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