What an amazing past few days I have had! First of all, I must share with you that Cheng Lin’s Peony Festival concert was a huge success on so many levels. By the night of the big event, I felt so comfortable singing all the songs in Chinese with the other backup singers and so enjoyed the whole process of watching how the concert was put together. So much work went into putting on such a high quality and professional production and the results were evident. Lin looked superb in her glamorous dresses (she had 4 dress changes which depicted the colors of the Peony flowers in Luo Yang) and her voice sounded so powerful yet angelic! She definitely has a wonderful way of charming her audience. They absolutely loved her and cheered her on throughout the concert.
During the evening, I was moved to tears several times. Cheng Lin’s 85 year old vocal teacher had specially flown in from Beijing to Luo Yang just to see the performance. Even though she’s not in the best of health and uses a wheelchair, she attended the concert. Lin was so moved that she came all the way and we were all so touched by how Lin introduced her with such love, dignity and honor. Lin has known her since her early childhood! Another very touching part of the concert was watching a short but powerful visual presentation of the Sichuan earthquake and the devastation that it caused there. In commemoration for that event, Lin sang one of her songs ‘The road to heaven’ which is about the children who have gone to heaven and tells them not to cry or be afraid.
Lin had flown in KC Porter, her producer, who is also a talented composer and vocalist and a 3 time Grammy award winner, for the concert to perform three of his compositions. He sang ‘Greater than Gold‘ – a duet with Lin, ‘Night hath succeeded day’ – a solo on the piano and ‘Canto’ with the whole band which electrified the crowd as well as the band members! He didn’t have time to practise with the band except for the day before the concert. I am amazed how naturally KC blended in with the band without much preparation at all! A gorgeous large, black grand piano was shipped over from Shanghai just for the concert for KC to play on! Eric Harper, a talented guitarist, composer and vocalist was also invited to participate in the concert from the US. He brought a lovely flamenco flavor to the concert on some of the songs. The talent in the room was overwhelming!
Bringing together musicians from the East and West, overcoming language barriers and playing inspirational music together was such a highlight. By the end of the concert, the whole band had bonded and it was hard to say goodbye. Luckily most of them live in Beijing, so we’ll have a chance to get together and jam once again. Below are some photos of the concert in Luo Yang.