Of moon and moun­tain

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

Now, all found­ing mem­bers of the choir are study­ing abroad, ex­cept for Jin. Two years ago, he gave up an op­por­tu­nity to study in Europe be­cause, he says, he didn’t want to leave the group in its in­fancy.

“I feel ec­static when I hold the mem­bers’ hands and bow be­fore the au­di­ence af­ter each per­for­mance,” Jin says.

“It’s rare to see warm in­ter­ac­tions dur­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic con­certs but we break that rule.”

Eighty per­cent of the group’s mem­bers are am­a­teurs with the av­er­age age be­ing 24. They meet once a week to re­hearse, and each time, the mem­bers sing in dif­fer­ent lan­guages, such as Latin and Ja­panese.

Xu Shiyu, 26, joined the choir a year ago. The art man­age­ment post­grad­u­ate stu­dent says, like the other mem­bers, he has a lot of fun in the group.

“Jin is funny and smart. He con­ducts our re­hearsals in a way like he’s pre­sent­ing a talk show,” says Xu. “There are many cho­ruses in Shang­hai but we have a dif­fer­ent style, thanks to him.”

Xu says the mem­bers are like fam­ily. They of­ten gather to­gether for hot pot.

Among Jin’s on­go­ing projects are pieces com­mis­sioned by Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity in the coun­try’s south, de­scrib­ing cam­pus life, and other songs based on po­ems by South­ern Song Dy­nasty (1127-1279) poet Xin Qiji.

“I am not an am­bi­tious per­son, and the choir is not am­bi­tious ei­ther. I just write mu­sic based on real life, such as drink­ing wa­ter, watch­ing the moun­tains or los­ing a key, and the emo­tions are straight­for­ward,” says Jin.

Con­tact the writer at chen­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The Rain­bow Cham­ber Singers present clas­si­cal mu­sic in a light and fun way, which has made them an on­line sen­sa­tion.

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