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
photo by Oak Taylor Smith, www.oaktaylorsmith.com
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.
ah autumn, my favorite.
howdy dear ones. happy autumn for me. happy birthday too. that's right, if you forgot, this end of virgo virgo just celebrated with family in the US. it was a great trip, everyone loved meeting our little babe and my new husband (and seeing me after not being home for 2 years).
the news is, i am enjoying motherhood. i love this little person that we've made. it's quite incredible and i am learning more and more about presence and practicing balance in my life. it really makes a huge difference that my husband and i can be mostly at home with her daily...i get comments on how balanced and happy our baby is, and i think it's to do with how laid back and at ease both of us are. if it's ever possible to be a stay home parent somehow, do it. it makes the world of difference.
fang and i are making new music. getting demo tracks down, lyrics written, melodies sung...it takes time as we baby step through our days. i don't mind the pace. it's nice that it's intermittent. my listening and imagining skills are more and more keen and strong because i can't just pick up my guitar and play. i write song parts in my head, and record them when i get the chance. it helps that fang is constantly playing the track over and over as he writes and tweeks it. evie is extremely familiar with all the songs and dances anytime they come on. : ) fun.
i'm still teaching vocal lessons privately, as well as yoga in one of asia's most loved yoga studio, The Yoga Yard
. all the teaching is incredibly nourishing for me. if you are interested in knowing more about my teaching techniques (i call it 'vocal gongfu') click here
. my rates are reasonable and the lessons are recorded so you can take the practice into your own hands.
at the moment there are no public concerts scheduled. i am still singing jazz and my original material for high profile events, weddings and fashion shows. it's great fun to get very glammed up and sing on stage, even if it's for a bunch of rich folk eating a fine hotel 6 course meal.
i am also singing alot of commercials. the latest is for an audi spot that has been airing for the last few months in china. jess, the household anonymous songstress airs so much i cannot imagine...if only they knew...it's me! you can listen/watch it here
i'll also be featured in the Beijing Kid's Guide coming out very soon - i wrote about my birthing experience at beijing untied family hospital. it's cool to be published again. :) the last time was in my berklee mentor's book about lyric writing (pat pattison).
back in beijing. here comes the oct 1st national holiday...looking forward to lots of people leaving the city less polluted and less cars on the road. hope where ever you are, you are creating goodness and balance in your center.
remember, my albums are on itunes! please, give the gift of original music to your friends or family. it helps to perpetuate the good aural vibes into the world. :)
(for your smile for the day - these photos are my little one's first strawberry.)
certainly a season here in beijing is the land of the foggy lung. starts in mid june and carries on smoggily until some wind picks up in early september. everything is moist. my new baby is very moist. this weather just annunciates wet. it's recommended to get out when it's like this. go somewhere beautiful.
i've been really enjoying the private voice and songwriting students i am teaching. they are a delight to see their weekly improvements. this method of teaching is so gratifying, because the student practices simple things, they can really notice the difference in their voices. it's like watching flowers bloom or using a 'squeegy' wipe across a dirty window.
this year, there has been a major lull in my performances for events (due to budget slashes across the board in event companies), so i started to wish out into the universe for something new to come along in my work experiences. and, just as it always provides, the universe brought to me the work of creating an audio 'brand' for a major chinese worldwide company. it was a real trip to think about how sound affects us. i went back into my mind and started singing jingles and audio brands that i could remember through my life. i think one of the most famous ones now is the nokia ring tone. that will always stick out. so we went through the first rounds of meetings, and hopefully we'll (my husband and i) get into the next round of possibilities.
i am only performing privately through the rest of the summer, and then we will holiday away through september. finally, i'll be getting out of the country after being here straight almost for 2 years! hardcore beijinger am i...
hope you are all creating goodness and light in your neck of the woods. also i saw this yesterday online and was really inspired by it. with all the green space in a city, growing food really is educating and nourishing. if you have 10 minutes, check it out: Renegade Ecolutionist, Gangster Gardener, Giving it Away - This is Yagna! | Everyday Geetaeverydaygeeta.blogspot.com
It's a nice Sunday summer night thing to do, after you have some dinner out with friends, meander over to Gulou, catch a few new melodies in your ears. 2 sets. I think the ticket to get in is 40 rmb. It's a cozy place, great sound system. : )
I posted this under "for hire" but I forgot to put it up - it's the new Audi Q3 ad running in China. I wrote the lyric and melody and sang it. Have a look! http://v.autohome.com.cn/v_6_21804.html
Jess songwriter-ing @ Bluestream Bar
Crikey it's almost June! How'd that happen?
I've been back out on the stages of Beijing over the past few weeks and it's proving to me how exhausting it can be to perform and stay up so late and then wake up to be a Mommy. I gotta watch myself...there's so much to do, and I have to really prioritize my goals more meticulously...
The songwriter gig I did a few weeks ago was great. I'm happy to announce that Gao Fang and I will perform again in June. Sunday June 16th 8pm at Blue Stream Bar. I liked the atmosphere...very old school china; there were little stools that you could group however you liked. The stage was small but perfect for a duo performance. I sang a jazz gig this past Friday, which was alright but a little too late for my current physical needs...I was wrecked the next morning. Staying fresh for my mothering job is important to me. Evie's only going to be this young once : )
I've been teaching alot more yoga these past few weeks which is always inspiring. I love my students; the gift of teaching is helpful to my own physical/mental/energetic recovery from pregnancy. I have also been teaching voice lessons, and these one-on-one experiences are blissful as they uncover their true voices. I'm happy to watch them become aware of bad habits and slowly change them. It's a fun type of therapy...hahaha.
Keep up with my shows by facebook-friending
me; i post the most on this.
I am happy to report that all the goodness of being a Mom is all that it is cracked up to be. . . I love it. As time ticks and tocks by, I have started to work. Singing lessons, songwriting students, jazz for VIP events and over-extravagant weddings, teaching yoga…it's all coming back into my life. Creating hasn't been on my agenda, mainly because I just created a person and I've needed to take it easy, but the songs still sing on…
I'm coming back into the world of performance…Jess Meider Songwriter returns to the public eye on April 28th. It's a Sunday night, 8pm (for all of us who need to be at home and tucked into bed by midnight).
This gig will feature all my favorite songs and a few unreleased recordings. Woo. Also featuring my man, Gao Fang, accompanying me on his electric guitar. It's a special way to consume the ol' songs; they taste fresh but familiar.
Stay tuned for other bloggings; I've got alot to say about birthing, pregnancy and chinese medicine.
As well as some new posts about songwriting, singing and performing. As the baby starts taking longer naps, I'll be more able to write it all down.
Enjoy Spring! Oh, and if you're in BJ in April, there is a wonderful 5 elements retreat coming up hosted by the Yoga Yard
. I've attended 4-5 times over the years and have learned ooooodles about myself as well as the 5 elements.