Sunday, 12 February 2012


I finally saw KunLin after many cancelled appointments. I waited for him at Rue 216, a bistro à la française (or so they wish, the owner went to France to follow a cooking training, but the result is still not very French...)
I was seated at a table near the window. KunLin was nowhere to be seen. As often the case lately, I had forgotten my phone so there was no way to know where he was. Around me, laughter, jovial outbursts. I was reading old issues of Entertainment Weekly. Then the brilliant idea of asking the owner to call KunLin occurred to me (they're good friends, whence the appointment in that particular place)
"I just came back from the South of Taiwan. Didn't you get my message? I'll be there at eleven o'clock."
It was barely nine. I ordered a plate of cheese (or what they think they can call cheese) and ate... too quickly. Around me, new customers, a group of young and cute post teenagers, an ageing lady on a new date with a foreigner...
KunLin arrived. He was wearing a long black coat. Since he was a regular, everybody started to talk to him. As usual, he kept his cool. Never show any emotion seems to be his motto! When he finally got inside the bistro he had a look around and told me that we would go to another café at the other end of the city.
I wanted to go straight to the point and have some more clues about this Silk Road project mystery.
"So you cancelled the project?" I asked KunLin.
"It's not me..." 
I remembered that Avi Avital played a non-too kind trick on KunLin by having another concert in Taipei (though with a different program) without telling him. Now the project was completely off.
"Avi isn't famous enough yet to attract enough people twice in a year" Kunlin explained. A little voice told me the decision was a mistake. I was proved right when I went to a record store today and discovered that Avi has just been signed by Deutsche Gramophon and released a new album of Bach's mandolin concertos...

I asked KunLin about the project for the 800th anniversary of Notre-Dame at the HuaShan Park. Another blank then I heard that it was much too late to book the venue. KunLin seemed to like my idea for the play. He suggested an alternative as a possible venue. It's located in a building near the Eslite bookstore on DunHua Road. I had attended a concert there but had no recollection about the place itself. 
What liked about the HuaShan Culture Park was the building themselves. They used to be old warehouses turned into spaces for exhibitions or performing art. I last went there to attend a performance by Horse, in which ShuYi was dancing. If the dancing wasn't what I would remember best, the stage design was absolutely gorgeous, helped by the industrial unfinished aspect of the venue. 
I was already starting to envision how the play would look like in that place, but it's obviously not meant to be. 
"So what about you giving a concert?" KunLin asked
"Oh yes,I could come up with another idea with music, projection and dance performance..." I mused.
"No, a concert of your music"
"I had been talking with ShuYi and we would like to do a series of mini multi-media performances every month to present all the music I have been writing. There could be..."
"I'm not talking about ShuYi. What about you giving a concert?"
"Me giving a concert? As a singer?"
"Yes. You have written songs, haven't you? You could give concerts at the Wall, or the Riverside."
"But.... would you be interested in organising that?" I was confused. In my mind, KunLin was an agent for classical musicians. As a composer that may be in his range, but I assumed, perhaps wrongly that my work as a singer-songwriter was beyond his realm. 
"Yes for you as a singer. And not with contemporary dancer or projection or anything like that! I could book a venue for you in December. A whole week."
I was speechless, but still not convinced.
"But no one knows me here! There will be lots of promotion to be done! Who would come?"
"You forget that I work for a radio station..."
I will have to give it serious consideration.
"And about the play, if it's premiered in Hong Kong next year, give me a video of it when you can, and we can possibly tour it in Taiwan and China..."
Now it's up to me. No more doubt. Go for it. Do it. Conceive it. 

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