Today I was delighted to have lunch with Chou Wen-Cheng, the Chinese-American composer.

In Beijing to prepare for an October 14 concert of his works by the Beijing New Music Ensemble, Chou and I discussed the meaning of music and its relation to words.

Is music emotion? How does music relate to sounds in the real world? How does music relate to words in English and how does music relate to Chinese calligraphy?

A further opportunity to meet Chou comes on October 14 in Beijing before his concert at 11am for a public discussion of his work ahead of the 3pm concert.

The Beijing New Music Ensemble is China’s only independent group dedicated to performing Chinese contemporary music.

Chou’s concert has been organized by Sarina Tang of Currents and takes place at Currents in the 798 arts district. The lecture takes place at the Alliance Francaise of Beijing.

For further details, the program is here.

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  1. RC

    I loved that interview.

    Once in Washington DC I was teaching a course in Calligraphy to some kids and I brought in a drummer and the exceedingly well-known-in-calligraphy-circles Sheila Waters. With colored chalks she began on the left side of a 20 foot blackboard and moved to the right, accompanied by the drummer, writing out a swash capital alphabet. The drummer followed her movements as she improvised with this very swooshy, balletic performance. The kids and I were riveted.

    I have always seen calligraphy as movement and dance – why not music.

    But many might not know that western calligraphy is so expressive. I’d like to see this guy’s performance.