Burnett Thompson Blog

January 28, 2007

last day in Shanghai

Filed under: music, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 3:45 pm

6 hour video shoot┬ erupts out of nowhere…This is the last day of this tour.┬ We are doing an informal video of several pieces this evening, which is being recorded by China TV as a promo for our upcoming events in April.┬ (April 2-13)┬ (more…)

MOCA and Shanghai Museum

Filed under: Art, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 3:41 pm

´┐Ż The Salmon Skin Suit

The Salmon Skin Suit

Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai has a small but startling collection. My favorites were the enameled oversized dog caricature scuplture, the hyper-realized photo of a house fly and the bearded picture. (more…)

Jazz in Shanghai

Filed under: music, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 3:18 pm

CJW Jazz Club  has two venues, one on the 50th floor of the Bund Center with a spectacular view of the city, the other in the rather overly precious neighborhood of Xin Tian Di.

The Bund Center venue is rather sterile, but the Xin Tian Di club was fun and packed. (more…)

back in Shanghai: Jing An Cultural Society

Filed under: music, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 2:46 pm

Jan 26 was the occasion of a concert at Jing An Cultural Society in the Jing An neighborhood.´┐Ż The room was heated (a first) and the piano was a small brand new grand.´┐Ż It was the best piano I had seen here.´┐Ż

Television crews were there for pre-concert interviews and shot the entire concert, to my amazement. (more…)

Chengdu

Filed under: music, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 2:29 pm

´┐Ż

The Wu Hou Shrine in Chengdu, dating from 223 A.D.

Jan. 22:´┐Ż Chengdu, capitol of Sichuan, is socked in with fog around the clock.´┐Ż The fog is so dense that there is a twilight atmosphere in the middle of the day.

´┐Ż A local organization hosted our trip and concert, and local television coverage was extensive.´┐Ż We also had time to visit a restored area of teahouses and a Buddhist temple.´┐Ż The highlight of the restored area was undoubtedly the food.´┐Ż (more…)

January 20, 2007

Shanghai Library Performance/Lecture

Filed under: music, music education, China Tour 1 — burnett @ 5:51 pm

The lecture/performance on Saturday, Jan 20 was the first given by a foreigner at Shanghai Library. A distinctly Chinese-fashioned jacket was ordered for the occasion, beautifully tailored and delivered the night before the performance. I had an excellent and deeply committed interpreter, who met with me a few days before the performance and proceded to do research on the various terms and subject matter. She was very well prepared.

The subject matter included Gottschalk, Liszt, Joplin, Bartok (with Ma Xiaohui, erhu) Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce”, a Liu Tianhua piece arranged as a jazz piano solo, Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady” (with erhu) and then a pair of Chinese traditional pieces. (more…)

January 13, 2007

Jan 13 concert: Tong Maritime Museum

Filed under: China Tour 1 — burnett @ 9:18 pm

Saturday, Jan 13 began with a long car ride to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, specifically to the Maritime Museum.┬ The museum itself contains exquisite wooden replicas of ancient ships in relentless detail.┬ I just didn’t have time to look at the exhibit, and hope to return.

This concert was presented by the American Consulate in partnership with the Shanghai Maritime Museum.

The room was about 45 deg when we arrived, (more…)

Shanghai: Jan 12 Live TV

Filed under: China Tour 1 — burnett @ 8:44 pm

After the usual lengthy lunch of 12 courses or so, we went to the CCTV television studio stage at around 2 p.m.┬ Fellini would be right at home in this environment.┬ There were a hundred or so performers from all over China, a couple dozen makeup and costume facilitators, tech folks scurrying around and the continuous mist blowing on the stage.┬ We suddenly launched into a tech rehearsal for our own performance.┬ Xiaohui emerges from an upstage┬ pit while I am 70 feet downstage on a┬ white enamel concert┬ grand.

(more…)

January 11, 2007

Shanghai…day 2

Filed under: China Tour 1 — burnett @ 10:41 am

More later…but this evening had lengthy and chaotic rehearsal at Chinese Television.┬ The show, entitled something like, “Welcome to the Masters”┬ features ancient operatic works juxtaposed with modern pop stars.┬ Definitely aimed at the masses.┬ A dress rehearsal tomorrow (scheduled from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.)┬ then performance at 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. EST on Friday, Jan 12, 2007.┬ It will be live on satellite.┬ We are doing “Deep Night” for erhu and piano, which has its melodies and style derived from Chinese opera.

┬ The rehearsals today were 1)┬ in a freezing room with an out-of-tune piano┬ 2)┬ off stage in the dark, while listening to the audio from the house. I figure if we can perform under those circumstances, live TV will be a cakewalk. (more…)

January 10, 2007

Shanghai Day 1

Filed under: China Tour 1 — burnett @ 8:14 pm

Jan 9 2007┬ dept Dulles, arr Pudong Jan 10

A smooth flight from Chicago to Shanghai preceded a quick through-check at customs & a gracious welcome, full bouquet of carnations and lilies from a gracious welcoming commttee.┬ A quick car ride into downtown, check-in at a hotel on Pudong Ave, followed.┬ While in the car a call arrived┬ to say that we are on live television on Thurs. nite (jan 11), so as promised, things are happening quickly.

(more…)

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