Sunday, November 13, 2011

China mega-post Part-I

I was in Beijing from October 23-31.  Finally now I'm little more relaxed, I get to post some pictures and stories from there.   My October was really hectic for me; As I wrote in my previous post, I had two premieres within a week: Eigenspace, my new interactive graphic collaboration, I-Quadrifoglio, my first string quartet premiere with the Cassatt String Quartet.  Then I prepared a new composition written for me by French composer Marc Battier for violin and electronics entitled Double Suns, to be premiered at the Musicacoustica Festival held at Beijing Central Conservatory of Music.  I had to learn Marc's piece within a week, since it was just finished :) which suited me as I had absolutely no time before the I-Quadrifoglio premiere!

On October 22, I left for Beijing from Newark, a 9-day trip leaving my two children with my husband.  The day I was leaving, my daughter who is physically very fit and hardly ever sick, decided to come down with high fever.  She usually goes down very deep like this, but comes out of in within a day, which fortunately she did according to my husband and she didn't miss any school.  Nonetheless, it was a little unnerving to leave them in this state...  The flight to Beijing was full, with the longest line for the first class and business class that I have ever seen.  It looked almost as long as the economy line which I was in.  The flight plan showed that we were flying straight up from New York through Canada, over the north pole, and down through Siberia to China.  It was the first time I've done that.

As we were landing I took some pictures from the plane: a lot of blue and red roofs of factories (I assume) but these two colors symbolize China.  Here I come!   Then I was picked up along with a group from Lyon, GRAME.  Here are composer/architect Pierre Jaffrennou, formidable percussionist living in Lyon Yi-Ping Yang, and composer Max Bruckert also from Lyon, waiting for the car at the airport.  Not just because of these people from Lyon, but with others from France and Chinese professors who are Francophone, I think I spoke more French than English in China throughout my stay.
From the airport, as we approached central Beijing, you are struck with avenues after avenues with gigantic new architecture. Just imagine twice the size of New York's Time Warner building, and that is standing next to each other on both sides for miles and miles, by streets twice the size of Park Avenue. That's Beijing!

After hurriedly checked into the hotel, I was brought straight to the rehearsal to meet Marc Battier at the Beijing Central Conservatory.  The new piece he wrote for me, Double Suns, was to be premiered the next evening at the Opening Concert of the Musicaoucstica Festival.  The Opening Concert was entitled Voyage Apollonian, adopting my composition for interactive graphics I was performing in the concert (graphics by Ken Perlin, NYU).    The next morning I staggered downstairs of my 3-star business hotel restaurant for breakfast: my first Chinese food buffet, which I ate too much and lasted for two-meals worth :)

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