Watch the video HERE
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