We Can Build Bridges: film & evaluation

For everyone who didn’t see the final show (as well as those who did 🙂 ), here’s a short film of We Can Build Bridges. What a special and memorable day it was! And underneath, gathered for me by the brilliant Kerun, are the thoughts and reflections of some of the participants and audience members.

Big thanks again to everyone, Qx

“Yes, we can build bridges! Starting from music, Quinta built bridges between cultures, ethnic groups and histories. From segregation in Little Yellow, to freedom in White Bird, to communication in Clock Out, bridges were gradually and implicitly constructed during 20 minutes’ performance. Elements from Guiyang daily life were wisely blended in the work and interpreted by western classical music. To my surprise, the improvisation part with audience went so well that the audience wouldn’t want to leave. Thank you Quinta for devising such an unconventional show and the audience for embracing new experiments in art representation.”

Zhang Kerun (MIRChina main host)

“It is crucial to allow ordinary people from different places to make connections with each other. Quinta’s residency will be the beginning of her long-term relationship in music and wider cultural exchanges between the UK and Guizhou. Music is great!”

Chen Bing (Director of British Council Chongqing Office)

“Quinta’s newly composed work is so narrative with mesmeric melody, which inspired the dancers to devise an unforgettable choreography. The collaboration between Quinta’s music and the best contemporary dancers in Guizhou is ground breaking; the collaboration is both an excitement and inspiration for local artists and audience.”

Zhi Zhi (We Can Build Bridges Show Curator)

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“I felt the beauty within the experimental exploration and freedom of artistic creativity that was given by Quinta. It was important to take Bunny (my baby) to the venue. Even though she couldn’t understand, she could feel the beauty from the lingering melody. The show was so amazing. The music was so beautiful that I nearly cry. Quinta’s music make me feel connected to the universe.”

Cao Yutong (Co-CEO of We Can Build Bridges venue, C-zone Hackspace)

“Musician Quinta applied Makey Makey and Max MSP to the interactive flooring. When dancers performed on it, they triggered sound of Lusheng by touching of skins. This is a good example of combining sensibilities of art and rationalities of technologies, bringing new perspective of creativities and forms of artistic presentation. A fantastic performance from Quinta. I’m so inspired.”

Yu Chuan (Co-CEO of We Can Build Bridges venue, C-zone Hackspace)

“The final performance was really impressive and fantastic. The scene was beautiful, the lights were just like the gentle afternoon sunshine falling through the whole performance space. Under the lights, I saw how concentrated and focused the performers were. The dancers and musicians were integrated together with the flow of music. They wore custom performance suits with wires and bottle caps etc. It was a unique concert. I like Little Yellow best. I was quite touched by the tone and the melody of the music saw, which sounded like a lady telling people her serendipitous story in a special way. People loved it and someone even told me that she was so touched that she almost cried. The musical patch also impressed me. There were some conductive tapes and electronics on this patch so that dancers could also be a part of the music during their dancing. That’s amazing because it was totally a new way of music performance and it was the most creative concert I’ve ever seen. The dancers and musicians did a great job during the performance. The quick music together with the expressive dancing of the dancers won showers of warm applause from the audience. I witnessed most of the rehearsals. The devotion and determination of Quinta really moved me. You can see and feel how absorbed she is in her musical world. Quinta combined her music together with the local elements: the calling on the Guiyang streets, the sounds of iron forging, the square dancing…. all those reminded us of the growing Guiyang city. They were happy during the rehearsals. Discussion, repeated practicing, musical communication…. it seemed to be a laborious process but they did it in joy. They were having fun and experimenting together during the process. In all, the performance was great and I was quite inspired. I hope Quinta will come here soon to discover more about the city and her music!”.

Nancy Lee (Venue Liaison, We Can Build Bridges venue, C-zone Hackspace)

“Quinta, I appreciate that you bring such a beautiful music and touching performance to Guiyang! It’s my pleasure to take part in the project!”

Daniel Chien (MIRChina interpreter and We Can Build Bridges marketing planner)

We Can Build Bridges was performed on June 3 and was the end of the program, but it’s as if everything continues, like our friendship, and my mind stretching out with the inspiration of new music. At the beginning of rehearsals, the five musicians are not very familiar with each other, or even strangers. With the two dancers, the seven of us come from a common piece of heaven and earth, yet are different individuals in different styles. But each of us with our different personalities joined together and comprised a diversified team. We are so lucky to find the innate common attributes in such short a time. An impressive part is played by improvisation- we no longer have faces fixed on the notes of a score, but use our imaginations, inherent in musical innovation, creating new melodic lines within a structure. I left my seat when I played the clarinet in the latter part of Little Yellow, interacting with the dancers, eventually showing something harmonious and full of personality and musical expression. It’s like life- it appears to be calm but there will always be unexpected things. I never experienced before, we five musicians and two dancers, no longer bound to different cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, brought together from the distance. Between music and us, between dance and music, music and culture, as well as our relationship with the audience, here there is a link- there is a bridge”.

Xie Xiuxia (We Can Build Bridges clarinettist)

“After a week of intense rehearsal, we worked together to complete the history of Guizhou and it can be said to be the most exciting music show. With Quinta’s creation of the spectrum, I was so amazed at such a short time, you can bring all the Guizhou national characteristics of the temperament and points to be so in place. When we play, we can clearly feel the meaning and feeling you want to express. It makes me very excited and happy. I am a very perceptive person. When playing White Bird, in fact, I have been touched several times to tears. White Bird is a very good interpretation of the Chinese elements. Guqin’s rhythm and essence in a few simple sounds shows most vividly! This is very rare in the Chinese works I have played. I want to show you the highest respect! It is a pleasure to play your creative work. It lets my mind get a lot of baptism and rebirth. Little Yellow and Clock Out are also very in place to interpret the elements of the Dong and Lusheng. Clock Out, I also feel conveys the Scottish style of music. I think it was so great and wonderful. So wonderful melody, can direct our hearts. We are very happy to work with you! In the rehearsal process, we are also very grateful to you for taking care of us, being very tolerant of us, containing our many mistakes. The final performance, the results were very successful. After the show, the audience specifically came to find me, said: “I really want to thank you! You are great! We were moved to tears!”. It’s the best music in the world! The performance perfectly connected (built the bridge) with the audience. I felt so honoured to perform in such an amazing work and meet new friends. For that moment, all the efforts became motivation that keep me pursuing music, classical or experimental. Because music connects people. Through music, any intricate emotion can be illustrated and influences us all. Although we had a very short time together, I am reluctant to end after having to face the separation. I felt deeply, and benefited from it. First of all, thanks to Quinta for choosing me as a pianist. I am flattered, but also deeply honoured! Secondly, thanks to Quinta for teaching us so much experience on the show and passing to us such wonderful and interesting music concepts, opening our horizons and vision. I learnt so much, such as skills to devise and interpret music. I repeatedly listen to your CD, every time there will be different feelings and new inspiration. Finally, I sincerely wish Quinta all the best! Peace auspicious! But also sincerely hope to have the opportunity to meet with Quinta. I once again warmly welcome you to come back to China, then Guiyang. I would like to review my English as well. Haha. In addition, if the three works were recorded as a CD, then, it will definitely be very popular! As the best memories of life! Thanks dear Teacher Quinta! Love you ❤”

Hu Juanjuan (We Can Build Bridges pianist)

“Remembering the first time in the studio I see Quinta, I am very nervous, nervous to say anything. I played a little bit of difficult chamber music (from the beginning of a Debussy trio). I later learned that Quinta chose me to participate in the performance because of the improvisation we did- that was the first time I did this kind of performance and was a bit helpless. I did not expect to be selected and was very excited but very nervous.  Because some of my technical problems I was worried that my mistakes will affect everyone. Quinta is a very patient musician- I did not feel any pressure and was fully relaxed with her. When we rehearse, she has been encouraging us, saying that it is great! Every time after she encouraged us, we are full of confidence. In these days of rehearsal, I saw Quinta’s body emitting the light, playing the violin and making wonderful sounds, playing with the dance posture like a smart little elf! She rehearsed with great care about our feelings- when I was not well she take special care of me! Gave us a lot of rest time! The most happy thing is that we play Clock Out together when we finally dance around in a circle. Quinta very love circle, looks very cute! I love to jump and squat, but sometimes it is very clumsy. When we ate together is also very pleasant, and Quinta sent us a lot of photos! In the show we watched the screen playing Quinta’s interview and some of her performance clips, and I was very moved. She left the small gifts and cards on each of our music stands- very touched! I know she walked step by step. The process is very hard for music, for art creation. From her I learned a lot, including teamwork- we work together to complete one thing, listen to each other to adjust, seemingly simple is difficult. And Quinta has a kind of vitality- I think she must love music, love creation! She never looks tired- that kind of focus is worth learning. And through rehearsals and performances I think she is very humble and love to encourage us, without her encouragement to believe in ourselves, it would be difficult to do this show. Thank you very much! Hope we can keep in touch! Look forward to Quinta come again to Guiyang!”

Cai Qi (We Can Build Bridges violinist)

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“Beauty can be presented in a simple method ie a less decorated warehouse- the set design successfully embodied the concept of building bridges. Five weeks is more than enough to grasp the essence if you genuinely feel and embrace the culture, although which is so strange from yours. The interaction session with the audience successfully demonstrated the bridge had been built. The audience sensed the emotions presented by the improvisations without explanation. What a show!”

Duan Xinyu (British Consulate Chongqing)

‘The elements in the music were so picturesque, such as plaza dances, Ding Ding Dong (Ding Ding Candy), Qianling Park, factories, Lu Sheng, and Drum Dances. And the lighting design to mimic sunlight was wonderful. I felt that Quinta was swiftly passing different scenes like a nymph visiting the mountains and waters in Guizhou, admiring but not lingering, and delivering the beauty to the audience.”

Li Jingjing (audience member)

“British musician Quinta, with local artists, interpreted what they saw in Guiyang in a simple but touching way and presented those elements to audience directly and powerfully. I was led to know a unique and startling Guiyang, without whitewash. I felt inner peace for the moment in the audience. Thank you for Building the Bridge!”

Li Zhuotong (audience member)

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