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|This Article||THEME WEDDINGS
"Shanghai Night" - The Music
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For those unfamiliar with some of the terms here, please refer to last month's article: [click] ---- Ed.
"If music be the food of love, play on, ... "
So begins the first line of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, in which love and music is a major theme. Where else is this epitomised than at a wedding dinner or reception; a celebration of love with food and music. Music sets the mood, creates ambience, accompanies us when we are happy or sad, we dance to it, croak to it, work to it, sleep to it, eat to it, ........, you get the idea.
The theme wedding can centre on the music played during the church ceremony and wedding dinner. At my Shanghai wedding, we had to adhere to the traditional Canon by Pachebel for the processional (Pastor's orders), and Mendelssohn's Wedding March for the recessional. For the special item, I sneaked in a Chinese-sounding song kindly performed by my brother's girlfriend and friend. The soothing and corporeal sound of the flute, accompanied by piano, was a perfect duet of The Innerlight ( Song from Lessons episode from Star Trek:The Next Generation TV series.) Hubby was delighted as I had planned it as a surprise for the die-hard Trekker. [Click] for Real Audio sound file.
Ideally, I wanted to hire a real Chinese orchestra to play but due to lack of funds, I turned to my CDs. My bridesmaid gave me my first Noel Quinlan album, 10 Women of China and I was hooked. I was actually listening to and enjoying those unbearable old Chinese songs my grandfather used to sing. Needless to say, the older folks at my wedding were pleased with my selection.
At dinner, we marched in to, what else, Shanghai Bund, (tung-tuh-tung) and played selections from Quinlan's Middle Kingdom series, 10 Women of China and Katusha albums, throughout the dinner. Quinlan composed, arranged and performed an audio treat, blending the sweet strains of traditional Chinese musical instruments with modern rhythms and beats. Together with Kevin Orphin, Quinlan conceptualised the human combination of power and delicacy of Chinese feminine icons in 10 Women of China. "From out of the mist of time, the names of some extraordinary women still echo though the antiquity of China." Stories of Hua Mu Lan (this year's Walt Disney's animated movie, coming soon to a theatre near you), Zhu Ying Tai, Princess Web Cheng, Diao Chan and Xi Shi are featured on the album.
The Middle Kingdom series is a tribute to Chinese opera, updated to provide accessibility for today's listeners. It doesn't matter if you don't understand the lyrics, like me. Lose yourself in the melodies and feel yourself transported to the Motherland of yore, when men were men and women were women, subjugated by their men into traditional roles. However their greatness rises above their conditions and their stories are immortalised by Quinlan as a tribute to the richness of Chinese women in history.
For the second march in, hubby and I strutted down the red carpet in chi pao and cheongsum to Kung Fu, the first song on Middle Kingdom III. If you can sit through the lengthy introduction, you will be rewarded with the oohs and grunts reminiscent of a class of Tae Kwan Do-ers exerting themselves as they kicked and huh-ed. Hubby stopped near our friends' tables and executed a "Hai yah!" primal scream and pose aka Chan Chen. [page 2]
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