LIU SOLA & FRIENDS IN SONGZHUANG - A SOUND ART EXHIBITION BY LIU SOLA, YU JIE
劉索拉，于捷 ／聲音影像藝術展／劉索拉與朋友們在宋庄／宋庄美術館 2016
Curator: Fang Lei
Concept & Artistic Director: Liu Sola
Music Composer & Producer: Liu Sola
Photographer, Video Artist & Director: Yu Jie
Video Producer: Yu Jie
Photographer & Video Artists: Yan Huijun, Song Yiyuan, Li Xiaofa, Wang Zheng
Video Editor：Yan Huijun
Exhibition Display Design：Yan Zhijie
Exhibition Producer：Zhang Yiwei
The Sound Design: Matrix Studio，
and Wu Weiyi
Engineer Support：Beijing Arc Advertising Co., Ltd.
Fang Lei Preface
To Liu Sola & Friends
Studying Liu Sola is a challenging task yet fascinating and rewarding. Irresistibly, it brings you into a complex labyrinth that is her music system, where you can find long forgotten treasures.
Liu Sola is one of the most legendary artists in China. Whenever Liu Sola is mentioned as a musician, people always tend to express their love and appreciation for her novella You Have No Choice.
Liu Sola is, nonetheless, a musician. She approved and has been practicing the Ecstatic China music style which is showcased in Xian Er Nian Zhu(Witch’s Beads), Fei Ying(Flying Shadow), Ba Ba Yi(Papa Chair), Ji Gan Miao Hui(Chicken at the New Year Fairs), etc. Her style which is unrivaled in the history of experimental music has been a revelation to the Chinese and the international audience. It is well known that she graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music, the same school that saw the graduations of Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Guo Wenjing, and Ye Xiaogang.
The Xi Xiao concert, performed by Liu Sola & Friends at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, deserves to be regarded as an exhibition of music with its uniquely special music structure and abstract imagery. The sound of the concert can no longer be simply categorized as music. Among other things, it offered the audience hallucinations and voices, a glimpse of the future and the past, tranquility and fuss.
Liu Sola commented: “Xi carries a variety of meanings. It can mean being casual, haphazard and thoughtless. Whereas the word Xiao, even though it has a number of meanings as well, it basically means loud sounds, a near antonym of Xi. In ancient times, Xiao was one particular singing style, employed by intellectuals, e.g. poets, for the purpose of expressing their emotions with hazy and indistinct lyrics, usually on the top of mountains.
This style of expression is, in essence, a creation of a wide range of sounds. As a matter of fact, it has become a spirit, when it was introduced to the Middle East region it inspired the Sufi Poetry, which glorifies alcohol, poetry, woman, and music, it is indeed the mixture of these four elements. This is how the Sufi spirit has been perpetuated. Today, musicians in the world still put their faith in the Sufi spirit. However, the Xiao singing style adopted by poet Li Bai and essentially the antecedent of the Suji spirit was not perpetuated but forgotten. Therefore, in my opinion, Xi Xiao happens to be the perfect definition of Liu Sola’s music”
When studying an artist, we tend to sift through their entire work history, their past, every detail in their lives, tides of their emotions and what they have been through. It is a research on the pedigree of life, which is the foundation of researching the pedigree of art. Therefore, as we discover the emotional bond that she has with the Loess Plateau, we can then understand why she invested in the Chinese folk music traditions so much after her visit to America in 1987.
China is not the world. But, China has its own world.
Using her voice, Liu Sola presents such a world. “She has a touching and free voice, and she borrows techniques from Chinese opera and folk styles; Liu sola’s voice can represent innocence or viciousness, softness or ferociousness.” –The New York Times.
We simply do not haphazardly comment on Liu Sola’s work, her music is about the meaning and understanding of art, which goes beyond our society’s vulgarity and vanity. The “Witch’s vibe” that she possesses comes from one particular context, in which she acts as an ambassador to communicate with a higher power in the ancient times. This is everything art should be, not something that can be sold for fame or money. It is cultural information that flows in the air, catching it requires fate and fortune.
Anyone who has read Liu Sola’s novella You have No Choice would know that she went through the classic college education system. If she did not see the bigger world, Liu Sola would have been a composer with more realism characteristics.
However, in reality, Liu Sola has found the spirits of her ancestors. Within her voice, which is one priceless vocal instrument, she sings and dances with the old spirits. Resembling a leader of an archeology team, she guides the team through the boundless forest where she is the only one on the team that can talk and dance joyfully with the ancient messengers and decipher all the unfathomable codes and riddles. So, here is a question: without the necessary background cultural knowledge, how can you possibly understand or appreciate Liu Sola?
Yu Jie, an American-educated photographer, is the designated recorder in Liu Sola’s team. As an ongoing experiment, Yu Jie acts as a translator, using pictures instead of words to interpret Liu Sola.
In Yu Jie’s work, Liu Sola & Friends are exquisitely photographed and recorded in a natural way without any artificial and engineered expressions. At a close distance, Yu Jie witnesses the truest times that Liu Sola & Friends shares with music. Like a witness, Yu Jie recorded the truest times that Liu Sola & Friends shares with music.
Currently, Liu Sola is residing in SongZhuang and she has brought her friends over here as well. They take shifts practicing, singing, dancing, reciting poems and having fun in the lake-side rehearsal room. They are extremely critical when it comes to their own music. Every single note, every single beat, the emotion and the cooperation are all being perfected and polished.
Li Zhengui(Percussionist), Yang jing(Lutist), Zhang Yangsheng (Percussionist),Liu Yijun A.K.A Lao Wu(Guitarist), Gert Mortensen(Percussionist), Wu Na(Guqin player), Ma Rui(Percussionist), Cheng Yuyu(Lutist), Chen Suchao(Lutist), Liu Meng(Percussionist), Liu Chang(Percussionist), Zhang Meng(Guqin player), Bai Minghui(Percussionist), Chen Helin(Percussionist), Yang Ji-er A.K.A Gigi (Pianist), Wu Jing(Vocalist). and special appear Pang Bo(Pianist),
Liu Sola & Friends is a group of fairy-like friends writing poems of the age.
May 8, 2016, at Songzhuang lakeside
Liu Sola Preface
“Sound Art” is an art form which visual and sound equally important. This exhibition showcases the most realistic, behind-the-curtain rehearsal and recording footages in the form of documentaries. These realistic actions of music are being ignored by the public, especially in China. Music is becoming nothing but an empty shell, a tool for entertainment. The celebrities that we call musicians today, no longer practice or care about the music itself.
Therefore, I pivoted my life around a devoted and dedicated ensemble and sharing fun and success with friends that I have worked with for so many years. Meeting a photographer as dedicated as Yu Jie was a fortunate accident, as well as all the young and promising visual artists in his team, I suppose you truly are the company that you keep.
Naturally we started our collaborations with no actual purpose in mind, we just knew that we needed to keep these precious records of our work. With the rising number of the records, we started to see a pattern emerge among them, followed by the concept of turning them into completed artworks.
Subsequently, as the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”, Fang Lei reached out to me and expressed her desire to sponsor an exhibition of my work. I immediately recommended the photograph series that was done by Yu Jie and his team. I must say that, even though at the time of the recording none of us had any idea where this project is going, in order to capture all the footages, Yu Jie and his team of photographers followed us day in and day out, completely relying on their artistic intuition, which is so reminiscent of the time when I build this Chinese ensemble over a decade ago.
Therefore, what this exhibition presents, from both the music and visual perspective, is produced under the most natural and conditions, absolutely free of any cosmetic elements. My musicians and Yu Jie’s team of photographers, we all focused on our own work, and that brings you the most unedited music production state on display here today.
Unlike documentaries, sounds and voices took up the majority of the exhibition. Do not be mistaken, this exhibition is about “seeing” music, not watching a documentary about musicians. The audience can listen to and watch the true footages of rehearsal and recording, including silent rehearsals, that is where we deliberately turn off the sound of the footage and leave it to the audience’s imagination.
This is an extremely natural and original exhibition. As a handful of unpolished rocks, all the buried sparkles and brilliance of the exhibition were discovered, captured then presented by two teams of artists. To be honest, I am afraid that these artworks that were produced with an almost unconscious state, are highly unlikely to be reproduced after this exhibition.
Yu Jie’s comments
The idea of this Sound Art exhibition was originally suggested by Fang Lei, director of Songzhuang Art Museum. When she was organizing the 10-year Songzhuang Artists exhibition and contacting Liu Sola for a creative way to display the exhibits. Liu Sola has been staying in Songzhuang for years and insisted on exploring Chinese original music. Liu Sola introduced me to this opportunity to participate in the preparation of this exhibition, as I, together with my photographic team, have been recording Liu Sola and her band during their concerts and rehearsals with hopes the essence of music can be captured in photographs.
At first, Liu Sola and I exchanged opinion on vision and sounds. Later, I gradually started to create photographic work for Sola’s music chapters instead of simply recording their rehearsals.In the meantime, we kept reviewing the artistic value of our record material and the possibility of exhibiting experimental works.
When Sola mentioned the concept of sound art a long time ago, it sounded abstract to me, however continuously recording all the details of a brilliant musical group at set times, hoping to capture some important details about musicians that are easily overlooked by ordinary photographers, it is realistic and meaningful to me.
We gradually gathered image segments that can represent sounds from thousands of MEGA video materials recorded during the last 2 years. While the way of editing and presenting these photographic works was in line with Liu Sola’s sound art philosophy, we hope these priceless artworks can offer the audience a unique perspective to Liu Sola & Friends.
My team including Yan Huijun, Song Yiyuan, Li Xiaofa etc. and I would be more than pleased if we can employ an exploring style of photography in a very honest manner to witness Liu Sola’s experimental concept on her original music and the tremendous efforts of Liu Sola and her group in the long-term practice; and to display her program of rejuvenating and innovating traditional Chinese music.
索拉在她的音乐里展现了这样的世界，用人声。“感人的、无拘无束的人声，带有中国戏曲的影子，和民族小调的特色；索拉女士的声音，可以表现出童贞或是狠毒、柔美或是凶猛…. ” 《纽约时报》这么评论刘索拉的音乐。
“Sound Art”可以用任何与音乐平等份量的视觉艺术手法来完成。我们这次展览是运用了纪录片的形式来表现音乐家的真实排练及录音状况。这种真实的音乐行为越来越多的被大众忽略，尤其在中国，音乐只剩下作为娱乐工具的形象空壳，被称为“音乐人”的偶像们完全可以置音乐本身而不顾，甚至可以完全脱离真正的音乐训练。 因此，对我来说，有一个踏实作音乐的乐队，然后为这些与我合作多年的音乐朋友们做些有趣的事，一直是我的生活中心。遇到于捷这种一心做摄影的人也是巧合，加上他团队里这些年轻有为的视觉艺术家们，真是“人以群分”。很自然，我们开始了一种完全没有目的的合作，仅仅是为了留下这些珍贵的工作资料。当这些资料有了些形态和数量的时候，我就开始有了如何将它们做成艺术成品的概念。又是无巧不成书，方蕾来找我，要办一个和我音乐有关的展览，我马上推荐了于捷这个团队关于我们乐队的影像作品。必须说，这个团队夜以继日的跟着我们乐队摄影，全凭着一种对艺术的直觉，甚至不知道结果会如何，正如同我在十几年前组建这个中国乐队一样。因此这次展览呈现出来的，无论从音乐还是视觉角度，都是在绝对自然状态下进行的，毫无做戏和装饰设计成份，我们干我我们的，他们干他们的，于是今天大家可以看到这些自然的音乐工作状态。
不同于纪录片的是，在展览中，声音本身占了很大的位置，这是关于如何“看”音乐的展览，而不是介绍音乐家的纪录片。大家在这里不仅看和听到那些真实的录音、排练场面，并且还看到无声的彩排 —— 我们故意关掉声音，是为了让观众猜那些“声音”和动态。
Special Thanks to:
Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble:
Li Zhengui, Yang Jing, Zhang Yangsheng, Gert Mortensen, Liu Yijun, Wu Na, Wu Jing, Cheng Yuyu, Chen Suchao, Yang Jier, Ma Rui, Bai Minghui, Chen Helin, Liu Meng, Liu Chang, Zhang meng
Huo Xiaohong, Daniel Desmet
The Sound Engineers:
Guo Jingang and his team
Beijing International Music Festival
Forbidden City Concert Hall
Thanks to the Qingch photograph team,
Thanks to poet Yan Li,
Thanks to the executives of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology Jia Ronglin, Zhan Binghong, Dean of the Art Design School Chang Wei, and all my colleagues in the Visual Communication Department，including Chen Zidong,Xie Zhongjie and Student Zhang Zexuan.
Special Thanks for Photography Major from Visual Communication Department and Students.
Thanks to China Central Academy of Fine Arts City Design School, China Central Academy of Fine Arts City Design School Experimental image studio, Ning Ying, Jiao Long, Ding Xin, Xi Wang, Ren Lun, Meng Qi
Thanks to cinematographer Yu Lingxu
Thanks to Guo Chun from Beijing Film Academy.
Thanks to Hu Die who is studying dynamic media and interactive design at the Savannah College of Arts and Design
Thanks to Shao Jian Imaging Studio
Thanks to IF Art & Culture Development(BJ)Co.,Ltd.
Thanks to logistics department Wu Xiuzhi, Yu Fengxiang
Music Copyright Reserved By © Liu Sola /solacmusic/BMI/KODA
except: Heavenly Drums ©Li Zhengui /CSC
Nine Drops ©Liu Yijun
Image Copyrights Reserved By ©Beijing Qingch culture media
Curator: Fang Lei
Artists: Liu Sola, Yu Jie
Organizer: SongZhuang Art Center
Special Organizer: Xue Jing Guan(Beijing) Culture & Art Co., Ltd.
Co-organizer: Zheng Shi Culture & Art Co., Ltd.
Special Thanks to:
Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology
China Central Academy of Fine Arts City Design School
Sponsor: Shenzhen No.1 Blue3-chip Technology Co., Ltd. and Ju Zhen Ting Jue
Cooperating Agency: Placid Rivers Club and Villa Found Luxury Culture Retreats.
Media Partners: Art Ifeng, Robb Report Lifestyle, Bazaar Art, Vision, Life Week, and Skyline Media.
Media Support: Art Monthly, Master Oriental Art, China Pictorial, Time Out Beijing, Let’s Weekly, Travel & Leisure, Sina Contemporary, Sina Collection, Artscape, Mask9, Art Intern, True Art, and Art China.
SongZhuang Art Center Official Website: www.sz-artcenter.com
Sina Microblog: http://weibo.com/songzhuangartcenter
Liusola studio: liusolastudio.com
Sina Microblog: http://weibo.com/liusolaensemble
Beijing Qingch culture media Microblog: http://weibo.com/Qingcheocean
艺术家：刘索拉 / 于捷
Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble Introduction
Liu Sola & Friends is a world renowned music ensemble, with 12 virtuoso musicians. The ensemble was internationally regarded as “Chinese ecstasy”， as criticised as “most crazy composer” with “ best musicians”.
Liu Sola & Friends has performed internationally and collaborate with celebrated artists and musicians around world. The collaboration including perform with Ensemble Modern for Liu Sola’s major chamber opera Jing Meng (Fantasy of the Red Queen); as well as collaborated with African dance group Koffi Koko, Chinese award-winning dance and music drama Jue (Awaken), and also played with world renowned American Jazz and rock musicians. Occasionally, the ensemble participates in music recording sessions for Liu Sola’s films sound tracks.
Since 2012, one of most celebrated Chinese guitarist Liu Yijun (a.k.a Lao Wu from the band Tang Dynasty) joined the ensemble; and in 2015, Danish percussionist Gert Mortensen, regarded as a national treasure musician of Denmark, joined the ensemble as well. They have brought new energy into the group. The ensemble is endlessly seeking local and international artists to work with .
Introduction of Artists Featured in this Exhibition
Liu Sola – Music Composer & Producer, Vocalist, Writer
Liu Sola, the founder and producer of Liu Sola & Friends. Graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music with a degree in composition and she has been a student of Mr. Du Mingxin. She has composed and produced a number of award-winning movie soundtracks, rock opera, major chamber modern opera, Baroque chamber opera, symphony orchestra music, chamber music, a number of works for Chinese instruments, and a series of live concerts. In addition, she is also a celebrated novelist with a number of literary awards. She studied fine art at a young age, since the 80’ up to today, she participated in the visual art practices of stage and costume design, book cover design, music score design, working studio design and so on.
Li Zhengui -- Legendary Percussionist
Li Zhengui is the mentor of the ensemble. He is the president of the China National Institute of Percussion, the special guest supervisor in the China National Ethnic Instruments Association, professor and master instructor in the Central Conservatory of Music. The textbooks and other teaching materials that he has written are the keys to percussion treasure for the future generations.
Yang Jing -- Pipa Player
Yang Jing is a professor and master instructor in the China Conservatory of Music. The multiple award-winning lutist is regarded as "the Lutist with the most stage and artistic appeal". She has been invited to perform in over 40 different countries and regions across the world. Her performance is full of artistic vitality and appeal when it comes to either incarnating traditional music or interpreting modern works.
Zhang Yangsheng -- Percussionist, Director, Conductor
Zhang Yangsheng was the director and music designer of The Fou which was performed by 2000 drummers on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony. He is a colonel-rank senior percussionist in the General Political Military Band and a conductor in the Renmin University of China Student's Orchestra. He was been invited to attend a wide range of movie and music festivals in Asia, Europe, America, Australia and other regions as well.
Liu Yijun (a.k.a Lao Wu) -- Guitarist
Liu Yijun, often called Lao Wu of "Tang Dynasty", is a legendary figure in Chinese rock music. Ever since he made the album, "Dreaming of Returning to Tang Dynasty".
In his over twenty years musical career, Lao Wu has been constantly striving to break through artificial barriers of all kinds, looking for natural, spontaneous truthfulness in spirit. After leaving the band of "Tang Dynasty" that he contributed to establish in his youth, he became even more inclined to a natural, truthful state. Now Lao Wu is creating a new realm with his acoustic guitar. Its music conveys a Chinese poetic spirit and, together with his creative works in visual art started from the 1990s, it unfolds a panoramic landscape of his spiritual world that has crossed the boundary of rock music.
Gert Mortensen -- Percussionist
Born in Danmark in 1958, Gert Mortensen is a professor for the master class in the Copenhagen Royal Academy of Music, he teaches timpani and percussion. He is one of the world most recognized percussionist and play the principle of percussion part in The Royal Danish Orchestra for 24 years. Gert Mortensen was also the winner of a number of music awards, including the Carl Nielsen Grant Award, the Jacob Gade Award, the Gladsaxe Music Award and many other music awards as well.
Wu Na -- Guqin Player
Wu Na started her guqin training at a young age. In close successions, she was taught by guqin performer Mrs. Zhao Jiazhen and famous guqin performer and educator Mr. Li Xiangting. After her graduation from the Central Conservatory of Music with a master degree in guqin in 2004, she began to further explore the guqin spirit and its significance in the modern world. She has collaborated with artists with other distinct styles, including jazz, rock & roll and experimental, she also actively seeks to interpret traditional songs with her own style.
Ma Rui – Percussionist
After graduating from the Central Conservatory of Music with a master degree, Ma Rui became an ethnic percussion teacher in the music school of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. Ma Rui is an executive director of the China National Institute of Percussion, and the first chair percussionist in the China National Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2005. As one of the most famous percussionists, Ma Rui has been invited to a number of international performances.
Cheng Yuyu — Pipa player
A student of the pipa Virtuoso Yang Jing. A teacher at the China Conservatory of Music.
Cheng Yuyu has won multiple awards, she also participated in the opening ceremony performance of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Chen Suchao – Pipa Player
Chen Suchao started to study lute at a very young age, taught by lutists and educators Zhu Yin, Yu Dan, Zhou Hui in close succession. During his studies at the China Conservatory of Music from 2008 to 2015, he was a student of the famous pipa professor Yang Jing. In 2015 he was considered a special art talent and was promoted to masters. Chen Suchao is now a teacher at the China Conservatory of Music.
Liu Meng -- Percussionist
Born in An Yang, He Nan province, Liu Meng started to study percussion since he was 4 and a half years old. Since 2000, he has been a student of professor Li Zhengui, and he graduated from the percussion school of the Central Conservatory of Music.
Liu Chang — Percussionist
Born in An Yang, He Nan province in 1995, Liu Chang began his training in percussion since he was merely 6 years old. Since 2005 he has been a student of the famous percussionist and educator professor Li Zhengui. He graduated from the percussion school of the Central Conservatory of Music In 2014.
Zhang Meng -- Guqin Player
Enlighted by the famous guqin performer Li Xiangting, Zhang Meng was accepted into the guqin school of Central Conservatory of Music in 2010. In 2014 she was promoted to masters with the highest scores and class achievement. In the same year, she was invited to Copenhagen to start a one-year guqin training program in the Denmark Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Music. She has been invited to perform in Singapore, Norway, Italy, France, Sweden and other countries.
Yang Ji-er -- Keyboard player
She graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music piano school, and she is the business assistant of Liu Sola. She has participated in a number of large-scale live concerts and recording sessions. She has also engaged in the music editing process as well as the planning and organizing process of music festivals, including the Mujirushi Ryouhin BGM16 project. Now, she is the pianist in Liu Sola & Friends
Wu Jing -- Soprano, National A Level Vocalist in the China Oriental Song and Dance Ensemble
Repeatedly invited to perform in Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Mongolia, Hong Kong and other countries and regions. She has performed a wide selection of Chinese and foreign songs and was praised both domestically and internationally. She was the vocalist for Qing Chun Ji (Youth Festival) / Qing Chun De Ye Pu Tao (Wild Grapes of Youth), the theme song of Liu Sola's film. Later, she played an important role in Liu Sola's stage drama Jing Meng (Fantasy of the Red Queen).
Peng Bo – World Renowned Pianist
As a famous modern pianist, Peng Bo’s performance style was internationally praised, “her play is the combination of logic, vocalization, and marvelous techniques, it is cantabile and colorful. The expressions are delicate and the techniques are marvelous.” From a young age, Peng Bo has been a student of professor Zhou Guangren, she has also been the top award winner of a number of domestic and international piano contests. In 2004 Peng Bo and her husband Chen Da co-founded the Beijing Zhou Guangren Piano Art Center, and she is the art producer of the annual Zhou Guangren Summer College.
The introduction of Yu Jie: Born in September 1970, Yu Jie was a freelancer photographer after he resigned from the court of justice in Beijing. In 1999, Yu Jie enrolled in the Savannah College of Arts and Design and graduated with a master of fine art degree in art photography. He later became a business partner of the Journal of Fashion Group, a contracted photographer for Visual China, and a photography teacher at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. Yu Jie participated in the Chen Kaige directed film Wu Ji, the American film The Painted Veil, as well as the music video Blossom by the band Tong Yang. Yu Jie has a longstanding interest in the education of art photography and visual art. His photography works mainly focus on modern females’ daily lives in China. His works have been repeatedly exhibited in China, France, and America, and permanently collected in the Poly International Auction.
The introduction of the Qingch photograph team: This team, established in 2012, uses the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT) as its talent base, is full of young and promising talents led by Yu Jie. The Qingch photograph team assists the BITF to produce visual teaching materials, it is also responsible for the arrangements of fashion education photograph exhibits.
中国摇滚乐的传奇人物，曾缔造《梦回唐朝》的乐队成员之一， 在随后的20多年的音乐生涯中老五不断的跨越着世俗所界定的藩篱，寻求精神上无造作的自然与真实。现在的老五更以他的葙琴（Acoustic Guitar）演奏意境令人折服。
哥特·莫滕森（Gert Mortensen）– 打击乐
1958年出生于丹麦，他曾在哥本哈根皇家音乐学院的著名演奏家大师班教学，现今在此教授定音鼓和打击乐。他是世界公认音乐会打击乐演奏家之一。担任丹麦皇家管弦乐团打击乐首席长达24年，是Carl Nielsen Grant（卡尔尼尔森基金），Jacob Gade Award（雅各盖德大奖），Gladsaxe音乐奖以及各种音乐评论家荣誉奖获得者。
吴 静 － 中国东方歌舞团国家一级歌唱演员，女高音
逄勃 － 著名钢琴家。