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Thoughts Before Dawn

Just the other day, mokie sent me a song by See-Saw called Kioku. It was this really moody, beautiful number, a bit like a less dramatic Rhea's Obsession without the histrionics. So I poked around and looked up the band, who seem to have fingers in every .hack series ever made, and Gundam Seed. Unfortunately, Kioku was kind of a one-off sound for them. Their other music sounds like a squeakier Dreams Come True. Suitably repelled, I ran away. It's sad, because Ishikawa Chiaki, the lead singer, has this lilt that drops into these nice musky notes I otherwise like. She did the OP for Mermaid's Forest, Like an Angel.

I continously angst over how Suilen need to release some kind of album. Any kind of album. Or a single. A single would be cool. I'd buy a single, and I hate buying singles. Poke around at their site. It's the most beautiful website ever made. The music is amazing. Sort of a gentle, poetic, Asian-traditional-influenced ambience. It's great. I have mousoucarnival to thank for introducing me to them.

And I return to Chyi. As a small child, my father would put on these cassettes of a lady with voice like a flute or a bird trailing in a breeze, who'd sing these covers of obscure folk songs in three languages. Her name is Yu Chyi, and the first song I fell in love with that she sang was called, Whoever Finds This, I Love You. Chyi has a knack for singing stories rather than songs. Every song she's ever sung is some kind of poetry, some kind of tale about the little beauties in life. The song I just mentioned was about an orphan who strikes up a friendship with an old man who'd visit at the orphanage's gates. They'd exchange notes, until the old man died, and that was how the orphan came to push notes out through the gates to fly around free, with the words of the title. Chyi sings in immaculate, accentless English, and she has a great repertoire of covers in that language, but her voice really shines in folk music or older-style Mandarin love songs. Things like the traditional Boat Song, or The Olive Tree, which is one of those timeless love songs you'd expect to hear on a radio from the 40s or 50s. She's a voice I like to write to, so she gets listened to a lot when I'm jotting things down. At the moment, I'm really wanting The Unheard of Chyi, which is a fantastic selection of live recordings from 2003 of her music. It's a great primer set, for anyone interested in trying her out, since it does cover the full range of her sound. For those who listen to music primarily in English, it includes her great covers of Vincent and Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, and one of my personal favourites, All Soul's Night -- a sort of very folksy with gypsy-esque drums song about bonfires. Especially if you like old-style Chinese divas, like the soundtrack of In the Mood for Love, you'll probably like her.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
Weird - I can't see the Suilen site at all. There must be something in their code that isn't Mac friendly.

And I absolutely adore, adore, ADORE the soundtrack for In the Mood for Love. :)
Jul. 13th, 2006 07:33 am (UTC)
I'm getting email notifications for you again!
The Suilen site requires Flash. Could be taking a while to download the site before it runs. It's pretty, but definitely not the friendliest design out there. :(

*also adores the soundtrack to In the Mood for Love* It's so...stylish, and understated. It's a lot like the movie - one of the reasons I also adore it. :)
Jul. 13th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
Blondie and I have discovered that I can't see Flash navigation on my Mac, on any browser, if a short-cut code has been used in the javascript. Blondie was trying to get me to look the set up for his new website and I'd be all "there's nothing there!" It took him at least 30 minutes to figure it out.

And I won't be able to see the site at work because my work computer lacks Flash completely and I cannot install it with admin rights to my computer. :(

*the one thing that I really did not care for in 2046 was the lack of an awesome soundtrack. I'm not saying it was bad but it lacked the beautiful balance of ITMFL.*
Jul. 13th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
Ach, poor you. *pets*

2046 was a very bulky movie, with bulges in the wrong places. I want to say Wong Kar Wai was being over-ambitious, but he has great ambition. It's nowhere as taut as In the Mood for Love, and the cast of zillions didn't help. Though my personal gripe with the movie is still the 5 minute of pointless sex with Zhang Ziyi. ;)
Jul. 13th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
2046 made me miss Faye Wong and Tony Leung as a couple (cf. Chungking Express).

I've discovered that I'm not much of a Zhang Ziyi fan. She definitely has too many "look! I'm having sex!" scenes in her movies (or so it seems anyway).
Jul. 13th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
Thank you. *bows* I was starting to think I was the only person out there who truly never liked Zhang Ziyi in most of her incarnations. The only movie I actually liked her in was The Road Home. Her performance in 2046 was quite awful by me. But 2046 was over the top even for extremely good actors, like Tony Leung, who seemed quite out of the water, and Gong Li, who is a fantastic actress in all the right ways, but just seemed overdone here.

The best actors in 2046 were Sandra Ng and Faye Wong, who both did very understated, minimal roles. Sandra Ng pretty much came on only for her android bit part, but she just stole the limelight. Faye Wong, who isn't by description an actor, just owns all those Wong Kar Wai parts for waifish ethereal ageless elf girls. I have so much love for her. :)

My favourite Tony Leung pairing is Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, much as I love Chungking Express too. Basically, a movie with Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung in it is virtually bomb-proof. Even when that movie has Zhang Ziyi and Jet Li in it too!
Jul. 13th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
hey! I loved "Hero"! *has a small soft spot for Jet Li* *has bigger soft spot for scruffy looking Tony Leung*

I was going to make the same remark about "The Road Home" which I think was her first movie (that could explain the lack of sex). ;)

Jul. 13th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
Hero is the finest wuxia film ever made! *worships it* I admit to not liking Jet Li very much, not even from his Wong Fei Hung days, and certainly not from his American debuts. But his performance in Hero was good. In fact, even Zhang Ziyi (who has a judicious sex scene in this one too) was good. Thus, my theory that Maggie Cheung x Tony Leung make movies bomb proof!

Ever seen Ashes of Time? Great wuxia movie, but much more convoluted than Hero by far.
Jul. 13th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
hmmm, no, I have not watched that yet.

I wonder if I can get my mom to find that in Chinatown.
Jul. 13th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: yey!
If you can find it, do. It's pretty old, but stylistically, it's timeless.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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