Glow Curve talks to Loreli about dirty Beijing and utilizing fragments to construct song lyrics at Live Beijing Music's Winter Pitch Music Fest way back in January at DDC.
Posted April 28, 2016
Bilingual Transcript of Interview:
Amy: OK, can you introduce yourselves?
Xue Ran: I’m Xue Ran, the guitar player of Glow Curve
Yu Mo: I’m drummer Yu Mo.
Wang Zhenni: I’m bass, Wang Zhenni.
*guitar player Xing Jianbo (邢江波) was not present during this interview.
Amy: How long have you been around?
Glow Curve: 4 years.
Amy: How did you meet each other?
Glow Curve: I first met our guitar player Bobo. Zhenni is my wife; she joined the band because we initially didn’t have a bass player. We all live in Tongzhou.
Amy: What are your influences? Your music is very unique.
Glow Curve: We’re influenced by lots of things, not just limited to music but movies and everything that goes on around us. Even hearing a pop song on the street can affect us. Humans are heavily influenced by their environment. Music wise, we like Radiohead, The Turtles, Nirvana… a lot of stuff.
发光曲线: 受太多的影响了。也不只是音乐，包括电影啊身边发生的一切都会造成影响。偶然间在街上听到一个流行歌可能也会影响我。人是环境动物，都会受影响。音乐方面的话我们喜欢Radiohead, Turtles, Nirvana… 太多了。
Amy: What kind of lyrics do you write? What’s the subject of your lyrics?
Glow Curve: Our lyrics are like fragmented poetry, vignettes or snapshots of moments. We utilize the countless fragments to construct our language. This is rare, even in Chinese poetry. That’s the gist. This type of writing uses a lot of imagery and and symbolization. Our lyrics invite you to generate images in your brain, but it doesn’t do more than that. That is what we offer: a visceral experience. It doesn’t necessarily tell you anything.. . the stories have to come from yourself and your experiences.
Amy: Is your audience mostly Chinese or foreigners?
Glow Curve: Both. There are a lot of foreigners who listen to our music.
Amy: You’re under the Mondernsky record label now? How do you like being on the record label?
Glow Curve: Yep. The label doesn’t get in the way, especially when it comes to music. We have the freedom to write and record whatever we want, including our ideas, exhibitions we’d like to do, etc. They’re supportive. The only catch is we have to attend certain events, like music festivals… you have to be there.
Amy: How do you find the music scene in China and in Beijing? And Why?
Glow Curve: Very chaotic. Everything’s dirty. We came to Beijing with expectations and hope and all that… but when we actually got here we found that a lot of things were different from our imaginations. There are good times and bad times, there’s everything. It has a certain grim and callous aspect to it. It’s a ruthless place. This is a normal phenomenon. In Chinese philosophy, yin cannot exist without yang. You have to actively face this reality. We’ve done this vigorously. To live here, you gotta be a little humorous about the paradox.
Amy: Do you find that the scene here collaborative or lonely?
Glow Curve: Both. The process of realizing an idea is very lonesome, especially conceptual idea about music. But for external events like putting on shows and that, friends are always there to help, because most of the time that’s the only thing they can do. If you want to explore a new concept or idea, your friends may or may not give you some inspiration. Other than that, we get a lot of external help. You choose your friends.
Streets Kill Strange Animals talk to Loreli at Live Beijing Music's Schoolhouse Rock Vol 1. at School Bar about their upcoming album and how they got started.
Posted April 21, 2016
Check out more from Streets Kills Strange Animals and other bands on www.livebeijingmusic.com. Mastering for two of the tracks here done by Michael Cupoli. Video below from Live Beijing Music:
About Streets Kill Strange Animals:
Streets Kill Strange Animals formed in 2008 and brought their experimental/noise music performances to many venues in Beijing and impressed quite a few audiences. In 2010, they attended Modern Sky Music Festival and played in the ‘Badhead’ stage.At the same year,Vice invited them to film the Creative Project documentary. In 2011, their single song called "Tian Qiao Xia" was collected in Modern Sky 6 which was a collection of young and talented bands in China, after that, they were signed in Modern Sky Record Label and began to work on their first album.
After half a year spent on the recording and mixing of their first album, Plan B: Back to the Analog Era has been released. It appears a little bit alternative, full of noisy and experimental factors.
In 2013,Indie vinyl records label Genjing Records released their 7’’ single named Through.And they are working on their second album these years,which would be released in 2016.
Bilingual Transcript of Interview:
Amy: Let’s start by introducing yourselves.
Li Qun: I’m the lead vocals and guitar, Li Qun
Liu Ning: I’m on the guitar, Liu Ning
Da Hong: Drums, Da Hong
Bass: I’m on bass, Huan Feng
Amy: What’s the name of the band?
Miao: Temple – Miao
庙：Temple - 庙
Amy：How long have you guys been playing?
Miao: Thirteen, fourteen years? More than ten years. Since we were in school together
Amy: Did you guys meet in university?
Miao: We met when we were in middle school.
Amy: Wow, really! You guys have known each other for a long time.
Miao: Fucking around from 20 all the way to 40!
Amy: So how have you seen the music scene change in 13 years?
Miao: Not as good as before. It seems.. slightly more commercial now, without the rock ‘n roll atmosphere that we had when we were just starting out. I guess now pop music and TV music shows are doing much better. In terms of rock music, it’s going down.
Amy: Why do you think your band lasted this long?
Miao: Because we have our own stuff that we and the audience both like. Even people who have not listened to our music might enjoy it.. it’s just that they haven’t had a chance to listen to it. I want to last till the day they get to hear our music. If they don’t like it, fair enough. Not enough people are listening nowadays, they simply don’t know. We should be working harder to at least get our music heard. It’s not their problem.
Amy: What is success for you?
Miao: Success… eh… hard to say. Everyone has different ideas. The process is more important. Your philosophy and faith are key here.
Amy: What is your process for making music?
Miao: Hanging out, rehearsing, drinking together, fucking around, .. It’s the accumulation of all these things.
Amy: Is there a fixed process?
Miao: I guess, but that’s more secondary. For example you write a song and present a motive. One guy nominates it to the other three. If the three of us think, “Ok, this can work,” if we all see it, if we’re all content with it, then the song can come out very quickly. Write the music, write the lyrics, add in a guitar, a bass line, put it all together: done.
Amy: What’s the future after thirteen years? What’s the next step?
Miao: We just finished recording an album that’s set to come out next year. Lots of activities coming up! Everyone’s welcome to tag along and join in. The preparations should be finished next year.
Amy: What’s the album called and when is it coming out?
Miao: We’ve finished the recording process. The album is in post right now, mixing and all that. It should be out in the first half of 2016. The name will be Dual Personality. It’s very emotional.
Belgian writer Lieve Joris and Australian writer from Ghana, Kabu Okai-Davies share their stories for Beijing Storytellers at The Bookworm's Literary Festival.
Posted April 4, 2016
About Kabu Okai-Davies:
Kabu Okai-Davies is an Australian writer from Ghana. He is the author of two poetry collections, The Long Road to Africa and Symphony of Words, and two collections of short stories. He recently published Curfew’s Children, a childhood memoir set in Ghana, and completed a novel, In Another Man’s Name, set in Newark, New Jersey. Okai-Davies is the founder of African Globe TheatreWorks in Newark, where he was a producer from 1992-2005. He has been a Playwright-In-Residence at the Street Theatre in Canberra and producer at the National Multicultural Festival, and currently manages the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre.
Okai-Davies shared a traditional African folktale about Anansi the Spider for Beijing Storytellers at The Bookworm Literary Festival. More information about The Bookworm and its events are available here.
About Lieve Joris:
Lieve Joris is one of Europe’s leading nonfiction writers, with award-winning books on Hungary, the Middle East, and Africa. In 1985 she set sail to the former Belgian colony of Congo, where her great-uncle had been a missionary. Congo became a recurring theme in her work, leading successively to Back to the Congo, The Leopard’s Dance, The Rebels’ Hour, and The High Plains. Her most recent book, On The Wings of The Dragon, is about her journeys between Africa and China, written after she submerged herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who ventured into each other’s territory. Joris was born in Belgium and currently lives in Amsterdam.Brought to you with the kind support of the Flemish Literature Fund and the Embassy of Belgium in Beijing.
Joris shared a true story of her journey to Congo, which has inspired much of her writing.