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More adventures in China, Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I’ve been in Beijing for the last month doing music projects, having meetings, and researching opening my music company Pro Soul Alliance in China. Now i’m in Hong Kong with my wife Felisha for a while before going back to Beijing.

It’s been an incredible experience, and I’ve learned more than ever before about China, and have done a lot more exploring on my own than before and am getting more confident interacting and doing things in this vastly different and immense culture.
I thought I would share some of my experiences with photos:
I’ve been working with some talented musicians you may know, and some new artists many people haven’t heard yet…

Elika Mahony, Jarome, Siria, Anna

Elika Mahony, Jarome, Siria, Anna

We’ve been working very hard! Elika just released 3 exciting new original songs we worked on last year, and we also launched a new Chinese Spiritual CD, and are working on a music video amongst other things…
Now Elika has a computer dedicated to the studio so she can record ideas right away before they are lost. Here she is with 3 computers:
Elika with 3 computers! (One is her new one)

Elika with 3 computers! (One is her new one)

We have lots of amazing tea to keep us going though, Tea is serious business in China!

Chinese Tea

Food is amazing in China, it is an important part of the culture. In cities like Beijing you can get any kind you want, and the food is amazing along with the presentation:

My $1 salad

My $1 salad

Desert, complete with dry ice. What presentation!

Desert, complete with dry ice. What presentation!

You find the strangest things in the food stores though…

instant mashed potatoes in a cup

instant mashed potatoes in a cup

There are all kinds of cheap and interesting ways to get around:

Man powered rickshaw

Man powered rickshaw

And never ending scenes of guys carrying way more than should be physically possible on a bike:

Man transporting wood on bike

Man transporting sticks on bike

Public pay phones sure look funny, they have very short domed covers, so if your tall, you’ll have trouble:

Public phones in Beijing

Public phones in Beijing

There are beautiful lanterns everywhere here, especially during Chinese New Year (which is today!):

Lanterns in street, Beijing

Lanterns in street, Beijing

During Chinese New Year, companies give Mandarin Orange Trees as gifts and they’re everywhere, it’s so cool:

    Mandarin Orange tree

Mandarin Orange tree

They have some fancy malls with all you can eat Vegetarian buffets with over 100 items, and movie theater (where we saw new Confucius movie with Chow Yun Fat, our first film in China), they have fancy lighted stairs:

Lighted steps at the mall in Beijing

Lighted steps at the mall in Beijing

There are so many amazing things to see and experiences to have, kind and warm hearted Chinese people. It can be very mysterious too when the fog rolls in and wind blows like it did in Hong Kong when we visited the giant Bhudda & temple nearby:

Felisha at a beautiful Buddhist temple in Hong Kong

Felisha at a beautiful Buddhist temple in Hong Kong

Felisha at the giant Buddha in Hong Kong

Felisha at the giant Buddha in Hong Kong

Hope to share more soon when I have a chance.
Happy Chinese New Year! gōng xǐ fā cái, Gung hee fatt choi! 新年快樂

My visit to Hong Kong

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

As I blogged earlier, I recently got back from my first trip to China.

I also went to Hong Kong for 4 days and stayed with long time friend Ron who was nice enough to let me crash at his place. I didn’t say much about Hong Kong because I didn’t know how to do justice in describing it. Bob Lefsetz, an veteran and expert in the new music industry and accomplished writer, has described his first trip there exactly as I would, If I could write as well as he does here and here, and as I experienced it, feeling what I felt…

Warning: If you happen to peruse Bob’s other posts: He is extremely blunt and uses very colorful language. But one thing is for sure, you will be educated.

Let me tell you about China…

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

I got back from Beijing China and Hong Kong recently, and I’ve been putting off this post for some time because honestly, I don’t know where to start. It’s an incredible place. Combine that with an unforgettable experience working with the talented Elika Mahony and some other Chinese musicians, and it gets more challenging to summarize, but here is my attempt.

I was working most of the time I was in Beijing, so I only saw so much. It was cool to work with some local chinese musicians, composers, singers for one project. At one point, none of them could understand what I was saying when Elika was out of the room and unable to translate, so I just hit the record button and things worked out! It was really great to work with Elika in person on some exciting new music and help with her studio setup.

I realised China is quite different than what I expected and the ideas about it many have. Sure, some things are more difficult, but otherwise, in many ways, people there can actually have it better than we do. It rained for a couple days and was windy so I got to see the clear sky, otherwise it is a haze. But the pollution isn’t as big a deal as some make it out to be depending on where you are. There are rows and rows of trees in the suburbs as far as the eye can see, just to help with the pollution though. And there are dogs and cats running around everywhere, and people have dogs as pets. Another thing I found unexpected here: Unlike India, There are not only a lot of Caucasians, but people of all races and backgrounds that speak english and a number of other languages. I’ve went to Italian, Indian, and middle eastern resteraunts that are actually better than Canada.

Another thing that is superior China is the service. For every one person serving you in retail or food industry, there are 4 in China waiting on you, and they do it with pride and sincerity unlike ‘the great west’, and the selection is massive and cheap. Quality, well that is another matter, but that is getting better as well… China is the land of the seemingly perfect knockoff. I was fooled. And yes, the great wall is incredible, photos can’t describe how massive it is. You basically have to climb a mountain to get to it as it is at the tops of the mountains, and when you are on it, it is wide enough for a car to drive on it. When you look out from it, it stretches across the mountain tops as far as the eye can see like a dragon across the mountains. China is beautiful in many ways. You can very likely have a higher quality of life there than in North America or even Europe. Yes, that’s right, in a communist country. Another sign of the collapse of the supposed ‘developed world’

Jarome on the Great Wall

And then there’s Hong Kong, the massive mecca, New York of Asia, of excess and the ultimate in selection and diversity from around the world. The buildings are 4 times the size of any you have seen. It is intense, and exhausting, but cool as well. over 7 million people and the streets are spotless. Thanks Ron for giving me a good taste of the ultimate modern city.

Hong Kong Night

So I would go back again, and my view of the world is now forever changed. I have learned some valuable lessons, some that will undoubtedly affect the future of my career as a producer. But I wouldn’t change the experience as I have grown as a person because I no longer have to rely on certain misconceptions.
Now it’s back to my regular life, at least for the moment.