Takes me past eateries serving intestine, cockles, chicken feet and morning pancakes
In streets overhung with switched off neon advertising who knows what
Red taxis, dustbin trucks
Handcarts carrying bight silver ducting, boxes of lettuce, bags of waste paper
A cleaner emptying waves of water over the pavement,
And I can't even try to describe the smell
This is a day with rehearsals for the Sunday Umbrella Festival opening, meetings to dicsuss a placement at More Music in the summer and the next Hong Kong Takes songamkng project, and a concert of contemporary string quartet music at a gallery in North Point.
A great facilitator able to communicate with people of every age and background and an instinctive songmaker and infectious performer. Chuen has worked with me since The Long Walk and has been a travelling companion and translator in projects in Shanghai, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Fuijian and Shenzen. He is also a drama worker and is currently performing in a new devised piece about the Umbrella revolution that is playing eight sold out shows at JCCAC in Shek Kip Mei. We talk about what the show means to the group of 40 local performers and musicians as they try to make sense of the past nine months of conflict with humour and storytelling. It seems that cultural activists all over the city are retelling the story and trying to keep the truth alive while there is little real political action or change. This is an ongoing conversation.
Lat year Samson came with me to Shenzen and Macau to observe workshop sessions and carry out interviews as part of his dissertation which is trying to define Community Art. We have had many fascinating conversations about community music, it's origins, the nature of facilitation and development for both communities and leaders. He works also for Art for All, run by brilliant artist and friend Evelyna Liang, a great cross art organisation that recently has made some extraordinary work with elders. He has been to various training that I've run in the city and will be coming in July for a week to observe work at More Music and then attend a conference in London. We drink hibiscus tea in a very quiet and calm cafe and he also tells me about a long project he has been running called "The hidden music of the world around us" which has featured Nepalese construction workers, Egyptian dancers, traditional Chinese music, US Gospel and much more.
Is a pianist who worked on The Long Walk and is now a manager and administrator of HKNME - The Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. This is a great organisation that, as its name suggests, champions new music and creates projects and shows in the city. We are trying to see whether they is a place for connecting the high end classical world that they live in with the rooted community work that I have been developing. Who knows ? It will take a long time planning but it would be a great way to develop some quality cutting edge sound within a real community context. Watch this space.