I went just out of courtesy for Huang Yi, Lin Hwai-min and the people from CloudGate.
Huang Yi had asked me to come and help set up the music for the reprise of Symphony Project by CloudGate 2. He told me that there were lots of adjustments to be made but his poor English allowed him to remain vague.
I went to the CloudGate studio in BaLi. The 4 robots were still being worked on.
Since both Huang Yi and Ah-Kun - the robot designer, had to be sent away to do their military service, the robots' musical abilities had hardly been improved since December.
"We cannot use any of the music", Huang Yi said. "Mr. Lin had encouraged me to follow my idea till the very end, even if it means that the piece has to be shortened down and that the music had to go".
So what was I doing there? Huang Yi seemed truly embarrassed. I thought of Deserts. How did she react? Huang Yi told me she was fine, but I know that she was certainly very upset, after all the work she had done on it.
Huang Yi showed me where they were at to that point: laser beam connected to the instruments, each time a dancer would touch the laser, that would bring a note out of the robots. Boink.
Except that there are only four strings on each instruments, four strings playing the same sol (boink), ré (boink), la (boink), mi (boink), si (boink). It sounded like somebody was tuning his instrument. I told Huang Yi that a little improvement - as well as a bit more of variety, could be brought by setting the strings of each instrument on a different note.
I spent the whole afternoon doing that.
The end result was, if not satisfactory, at least less insulting for me and Deserts.
Out of the four pieces which were presented which aroused real pleasure in me was Wall by Tsung Lung's. Pure dance, great choice of music (Weather One, by Michael Gordon). Bularey's Passage
was nice to watch, but the influences were too obvious. Bula later told me that it was an early piece, so I had to show kindness for it...
"Oh, I liked what you did for the music", people said to me - (boink). They had seen my name and photo in the program. I had asked CloudGate to remove all mention of me from the program, but it was apparently too late. "You were important in the creative process" they wrote to me.
Huang Yi was highly apologetic after the show.
"I hope you will still consider working with me in the future", he said. "I want the next piece to be focus on the music and the dance, not the technology."
Que sera sera!