|Cold Fairyland –Out in the Cold in Shanghai
Today we're paying a rare visit to Shanghai for some music by the alternative band Cold Fairyland. Considering this city's commercial reputation, you may be surprised by the otherworldly and quaint style of Cold Fairyland.
(Three O'clock in the Morning)
That was "Three O'clock in the Morning,"today's first song from Cold Fairyland. You can find this song on their third album, which goes by the name of "Strange Celestial Kingdom." I think my favourite song from this album is the next track, called "Dead Children in the Newspaper." It gives a good example of the band's use of traditional Chinese instruments, and has some interesting lyrics, which Lin Di will now introduce for us.
I wrote it during the Afghanistan war. Every day at home I would read the newspaper and find that many children had died, no matter whether in war or peacetime, from illness or accidents, or any other reasons. I wondered how the people of the world could just read about how many children were dying and still remain so indifferent. I felt stung by my own life and the people around me who were numb towards this kind of thing, so I thought of writing this song. The main point is that it's not confined to children who are dying in wars, but rather children who are dying every single day. I hope that through this song people can pay more attention to this fact, so then we can think about these people who are dying. The final meaning is that we are all people who perhaps could end up dead in the lines of a newspaper,so we should care for everybody in this world.
(Dead Children in the Newspaper)
That was "Dead Children in the Newspaper," a song which features some great pipa playing. Lin Di has studied this four stringed Chinese lute since the age of four, as well as graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she studied Chinese traditional music and western classical music. Yet apart from using classical instruments, Cold Fairyland also rely a lot on Midi keyboards, especially in their earlier work. A good example of this is the next track "Waiting For the Farewell," which is impressively epic for a song which is so reliant on MIDI.
(Waiting For the Farewell)
Actually our name comes from the title of a Japanese book; it's called, "The End of the World and Cold Fairyland". In this book, there are two worlds; cold fairyland represents the real world,and describes how this world is materially developed and industrially developed, but very cold and indifferent. Many young people in China have read this book.
That was lead singer and principal songwriter, Lin Di, explaining the band's name, which has become a bit confusing over the years, as they ranged from Cold Fairyland to Cool Zone to Cool Fairyland, and then back to Cold Fairyland again. Going back to the next song, Lin Di explains the meaning of the next song, "Paris Cat," which continues the band’s interest in the impact of our increasingly materialistic world.
It's about Shanghai, and its development in terms of the people's desire for material wealth. Every day, every month everyone out on the street is running after their own interests or desires. This song is ridiculing people who are controlled by their desires. It's a somewhat sarcastic song.
Not actually a song about cats that was nevertheless the song "Paris Cat"by Cold Fairyland. All the songs we've played so far today have come from albums that can easily be found on the Chinese Mainland. In fact, this means we've only told half the story so far, as the band's most internationally prominent albums have been released on a Taiwan label. The label is Wind Records, and it's a company devoted to ethnic, traditional, religious and new age music. Bearing that in mind, we'll leave it to you to try and categorise Cold Fairyland's sound. Anyway, for the rest of the show, we're going to concentrate on one of these albums, the concept album, 10 Days in Magic Land, with a track devoted to each of those 10 days. As it's a concept album, I want to play a chunk from the album, and I’ve chosen days two, three and four. So I'll keep quiet for the next 10 minutes or so, as we hear the music and Lin Di's comments concerning, both album concept and reasons for choosing a Taiwan label.
The album describes a person's private internal journey, and how their spirit is purified during their ten days' journey. It's also about the things that they experience, see, hear and feel, and how they finally acquire their ideal mental status. Therefore, the album is about a person's innermost feelings. Ten Days in Magic Land is meant to express a kind of ideal that you will become more complete as a person, as well as expressing one's personal feeling through the experience.
(Fourth Day – The Dance of Seduction)
Two of my albums are released in Taiwan because currently the problem of piracy is too severe on the mainland. Moreover, the price of an album in Taiwan is relatively high, so when it's imported to the Chinese Mainland it's much harder to sell. Therefore the record company basically gives up selling these top end records on the mainland, and you can probably only get my albums abroad.
(Fifth Day – A Desperate Flower in Your Hand)
As it should be, a long period without me having to speak. Therefore to recap, you heard three songs from Cold Fairyland's concept album, "Ten Days in Magic Land," and the songs were namely
"Repentance Day" "The Dance of Seduction," and "A Desperate Flower in Your Hand." We hope you enjoyed today's music.
And if you're listening on the mainland, and want to get hold of the band’s music, Lin Di did say that it can be quite difficult. Therefore I hardly think I’m over-advertising by saying that you can buy directly on-line from the band at http://5mi.126.com. Apart from that, it just remains for me to drag you away from Magic Land back