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Welp, we did it, finally. All the basics have been recorded since August 2015. I finally got my still-a-singer-mommy-ass into the studio and we have finished all the vocals (except for one track). Success! Mix and master…only a matter of time. I found it to be such a pleasure to sing these tracks. My husband, the composer and guitarist, is a great producer. The studio, owned by Jesse Tsao, is brand new, clean, professional, and boasts high quality equipment. SO happy!
Last night, after we finished, my husband was already thinking about what we're going to write next. He'll leave the making of videos and promotion of this album to me. :) Cannot wait to share these tracks with you! They are by far the best music I have produced. Will let you know soon as they're ready.
Jess Meider's electronic project "Chinatown" appears one last time in the year of the Goat/Sheep. One of the best times to be in Beijing is during the Chinese New Year, when more than half of the population goes home to celebrate with their families. No traffic, no crowds, just a nice even feel…
If you're in town for this special time of the year, come see us play. Opening band is "Bar Code" a family trio (Danna, Kai and Liu Qing).
Jiang Hu Bar, Dong Mian Hua Hutong. 40 kuai at the door, starts at 9:30pm
This TV Show show interviewed me and my Chinese family. They interviewed my husband and I on how we met and fell in love and eventually was introduced to my future mother and father in law. My father in law was fantastic. I think he should get into TV. For those of you who don't speak Mandarin, I apologize, it has no subtitles. Never the less, interesting to watch Evie fall asleep in my arms, which was less distracting than jumping all over the gigantic guest sofa. : )
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About a year ago, I posted THIS about my experience of sitting in a large movie theater in Beijing watching a movie by Cui Jian, and then my voice came on at the climax of the movie. I sang this when I was pregnant with my daughter a couple of years ago for Cui Jian, known often as the godfather of rock in China.
A reason to SING! I am in Guangzhou (south of china) about to embark on a week of "modern" music at Xing Hai University. Here with other Berklee faculty, we've got a week of fun filled musical activities forming...
I feel very honoured to be a part of the faculty group teaching! I'll let you know how it goes…we start tomorrow morning. This is Berklee's first time in Asia with "Berklee on the Road" program.
Oh I do like making history. : )
Not only does this show include a wonderful group of women, it is in English and features my new electronic project (we got to perform at the end of the show)!
Worldwide broadcast, will also be online to view. English language. CCTV
Featuring Jocelyn Eikenburg (www.speakingofchina.com) and Marie Smurthwaite. We are all foreign wives of Chinese guys. I think it's a very positive interview.
Will post the link as soon as it's available. It's on CCTV English News station, Saturday Sept 26 at 10pm (China time). The show is called "Crossover," hosted by the lovely Eyee Hsu.
Yesh Ya'll. My classmate from Berklee College of Music, Sean Nowell, a total sax-baddass is in Beijing Town. We slammed the East Shore Jazz Cafe on Sunday night, and we're gonna do it one more time tonight at DDC CLUB.
Honestly, playing jazz these days is SHEER PLEASURE. And the people we're playing with are all of the same mind.
It's gonna be an absolutely excellent music adventure.
Good days and nights happening in Beijing at the moment. This morning Beijing skies put on a spectacular show of clouds, sunlight, half moon and a temperate wind. Birds tweeting, sun speckled all over the place. Mountains show up to give the city a visual hug.
Next week Gao Fang and I begin filming for an English-language Chinese TV Show called "Crossover." The show will include discussions about being a mother in China, and a live performance from my electrio, Chinatown. Nice.
We now have shows scheduled for the following venues in May:
May 16 - Caravan (new hip Moroccan Restaurant Bar on Ritan Beilu) 9pm
May 20 - School Bar (Wudaoying Hutong) 9pm (featuring Gao Fang's band SWARM as well)
May 23 - AO CLUB, Sanlitun SOHO, 9pm
Then in August, I'm filming a new Chinese TV Show. This one will be interesting. I'll give more details as they come.
Stay tuned in!
be the first to hear Chinatown online. This song is called "The Light." PS. Toddlers love to dance to this.
Spring has sprung! Energetically explosive, colors abound. Gao Fang (my husband) and I are getting ready for some great shows…This spring we are featured in the May holiday music festival (May 1-3), Li Xiang Music Festival in Pinggu (a subburb north of Beijing). Hope if you're in town that you'll join us for these momentous musical endeavors:
April 22, Jiang Hu Bar, 9:30pm 40rmb
May 1, SCHOOL Bar, 2pm-5pm FREE
May 2, Lixiang Music Festival, 4pm
Last summer, I joined the very famous singer Gong Lin Na for a 6-voice accapella piece that her husband, Lao Luo (a German composer) composed. It's a beautiful piece, mesmorising and seeped in Chinese Traditional scales and traditions. But it is not tradition in the sense that this kind of composition would never happen 100 years ago. Lao Luo's unique twist on the traditional was really a magical thing to perform on stage together with these very talented ladies.
Watch the video HERE
Beijing Television asked if we'd be interested in appearing on a cooking/life tv show, which aired during the Chinese Spring Festival Holiday. Despite the constant chatter and sound effects, I find that we presented well. Even if you don't speak Mandarin, it is entertaining!
the link is here: http://www.letv.com/ptv/vplay/22007416.html?ref=baiduletv
The year of the Ram begins February 19th! All of China is shutting down for the new year. T'is my favorite time of the year because there is no traffic, and usually low pollution. Woo! My lovely old Beijing comes back to me and woos my heart.
Lots of goodness happening! Another Chinese Tv show aired last week staring me (and 5 other laowai - foreigners). This one was a game show type setting; a bit goofy but lots of fun. There is another "cooking/talk show" to be aired on 初六 Feb 24th, 6pm on Beijing TV (Life Channel). I also recorded a podcast with Sinica (Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn) where we spoke about the good old days of Beijing in the late 90's. Most thrilling and gratifying, I starred in a short film that will be released hopefully by the end of the year.
Gao Fang and I are recording the vocals to our project "Chinatown" which will be released by spring.
Wishing you all great prosperity, wonderful health and lots of satisfaction from action! Happy EWE Year!
I've often made a silent goal of getting my music into television. This particular opportunity showed up at my door a few months ago to shoot a documentary about me, my music, my life, in china. It just aired nationally (and internationally where CCTV is available) on October 25th, and is available online
It's all in Chinese, with english subtitles.
Here is the link! Enjoy!
There have been a some really amazing recognition-excitement moments in my life. I can't list them all but a few come to mind:
Hailing a cab, two boys got out, and said something in Chinese. The driver asked me if I was the singer of a band, as the two guys were saying, "Hey that's the vocalist for Junglecat."
Another was on a plane ride back from the US to Beijing, "What Women Want" (the Chinese version) was one of the movies. I was walking from the back of the plane and saw myself on the little tv screen. Neato.
Most recently, I was invited to the premiere of the movie Cui Jian recently directed, "Blue Sky Bones." Two years ago, he asked me to come to his studio to record a song for a movie he was making. I had no idea that the song would be placed at the very end of the movie, at the "apex" of realizations in the story. Sitting in the theater, my voice resounding about the room in Maxitron-Dolby-Superduper sound was truly a memorable experience.
The movie is interesting. Very Cui Jian. Check it out.
"You guys are great. Where can I get your album?" Very soon (December-January)!
"You don't sing from your throat, you sing from your soul." Very cool, in fact, I do both.
"We loved the 'over the ocean' song!" That's called "The Light."
"That song about feeling cozy and falling in love is my favorite." I love that song too. It's called "Cozy."
"The guitarist is fantastic, and the bassist is awesome. Simple and perfect." Gao Fang (gtr) Xia Ning (bass)
"You remind me a little of Ursula Rucker." I was into her a couple of years ago.
"You guys sound a bit Morcheeba-esque." I have never listened to them.
"When is your next show?" October 17th (Blue Stream Bar), November 1st (Jianghu Bar)
Well dear Jess Meider fans, we are officially open for business.
Jess Meider featuring Chinatown is the new music's name. We're performing actively this autumn in Beijing. We started out with Jianghu Bar, September 5th, and it was a great show. We were honored to be photographed by an amazing photographer, Aurelien. He has a great eye and his photos are brilliant and really capture the moment. His site and more photos of Chinatown are here: http://blog.foukography.com/post/96971350889/chinatown
October 4th at VA Bar
October 17th at Bluestream Bar
November 1, Jianghu Bar (with Bu Dao Weng Band)
We also finished the shooting for a tv documentary about my music and life in China for CCTV4. It will be airing in October.
Until the next blog!
August 29th in Zhou Shan (an island off of Ningbo), Gao Fang and I will be debuting our new music. It's electronic-y and very SHUFU (comfortable). The music festival is big and lots of great acts. See the billboard below, along a boardwalk in Zhou Shan.
After we premiere our new music in Dong Hai's festival, we'll come back up to Beijing for a show at JIANG HU BAR on September 5th. We're playing with another band called "weebles wobble but they don't fall down" (but in chinese).
At the same time, CCTV will be documenting the next 10 days of our musical life to be aired in China at the end of September. Super fun. They will be filming at both of our shows, so if you wanna get in on the camera action, come out and support us!
What is Chinatown? You might be wondering. Even though we're billing the shows under my name, Chinatown is the name of our project. Jess Meider, featuring Chinatown, for example. We'll be posting new music online for your listening VERY soon. : )
Yes! My second performance at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. My first was for the 9 Gates Jazz Festival in 2006 with an electronic-live dnb project. It was very difficult in such a place to balance acoustics like those of Junglecat. But this time, (June 8th, 2014) I was on stage performing with almost no sound equipment. My friend, Gong Lin Na, who happens to be an amazingly talented traditional Chinese vocalist, invited me to sing with a 6-woman "vocalist team." Her husband, a German composer who has studied traditional Chinese music, showcased some beautiful compositions in various arrangements. From 3 GuZheng (zithers) to 8-12 piece bands to our 6-woman accapella vocal group, the evening was filled with flavors of China mixed with tasteful creativity. This is VERY rare to hear. The musicianship was marvelous. Robert did a great job. The photos featured above are back stage with the 'getting all gussied up' ladies, as well as the Zhong Shan Park (where the concert hall is located). It had rained earlier in the day and the results were tremendous skies with proper fluffy clouds. What a magical summer Sunday evening.
It was also a learning experience and an honor to work with Gong Lin Na and all the vocalists. I'm currently writing a blog about my vocal experiences...falls directly in line with QI (energy) DAN TIAN (core chakra) and more...
There was a TV interview with Linna and her husband, Robert that aired last week. It's over an hour long, but at the end it features us singing a part of the piece we performed the other night. Watch it HERE
A friend of mine, Ember Swift, does alot of writing for publications, recommended me to write an article for China.org (a China publication) in honor of the CNPC meetings that happened last week. The subject was about "my China dream." At first I didn't think that I could write something, especially after 7 days of CRAP pollution. I was feeling very "shang xin" (heart broken). But I had a window (kid asleep), and I went for it. This is what came out. And they published it. :) Cool.http://www.china.org.cn/china/Chinese_dream/2014-03/10/content_31735727.htm
Happy Lunar Horse Year (starts January 31)
Sitting here in my Beijing home, warm, baby sleeping while fireworks go off in rattatatta, boom boom! Incredible, is usually the word I think while inundated by the crazy amounts of fireworks. This year, however, is much more sedate (price of fireworks is up) compared to years past.
Between being a mother and working I forgot the nicest thing to do during this time is to think of intentions, goals and dreams for the new year. Realizing intentions is just as natural as the seasons. Winter is hibernation time, the time to go inward, to dream, to imagine. Spring; plant those seeds! and watch them grow through the heat of summer.
What happens in the year of the horse? Think of the qualities of a horse, then translate them into your life. I think of power. Self-empowerment, the power to make things happen. Endurance...enduring love and balance and will power.
Much love from the bing! bam! boom! of Beijing : )
I sit in my warm apartment cozy and full of holiday foods and conversations. Life is quietly good, as the wind blow frigid air like big chunks of glaciers into the city. People are bundled with big puffy down costumes that make people look more like penguins waddling around and riding bicycles (despite the blustery breezes). The inevitable hibernation of winter. I've got sleep to give my bones and time to do it.
A long while ago, I had some direction from a fellow friend and life coach. There was the question posed - "If money was no object, what would you be doing right now?" Soon after this, another coach/friend also asked me, "If you were to die tomorrow, what would you regret most?"
Both of these questions are riveting and produce the same answer: what you want. This is a question that is good to ask yourself often; I found in my life's messiest moments, it was usually because I didn't have a clear idea of what I really wanted.
I have been busy with teaching vocal lessons. It's been incredibly enjoyable to hear the results in students. I feel I'm a well-aligned as a teacher (and always learning), so this "work" is quite satisfying and joyfull. But if money weren't an object, would I be doing it? My honest truth is, Nope.
So, in honor of all that is good, here comes the music. New album. Yay. We've started the recording process. What kind of album is it? Let's just say, it's a good one. Really good. I don't like to project my own feelings about a project, but hey, I am super excited. Stay tuned.
I've also been very impressed with the Chinese Medicine treatments I've been getting for the past 3 years (once a week). My body is increasingly more sensitive; my awareness deepens in stages that completely amazes me. I'm so glad for this sensitivity because it gives me a clue as to what my daughter is feeling (since she's in a brand new body). Everything is more sensational...it is only over time that the senses overlook the wonderful details that life is constantly giving us. I'll write more in my TCM blog soon. It's just more challenging to get any thoughts down. As a mother of a 1 year old, there are just so many other things to do in the nap down-times.
Wishing you all wellness and lots of letting go of what is not serving you. I know I am welcoming these loving intentions.
Listen to Jess