GREG HENRY WATERS NEWSLETTER Oct 23, 2003
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Objective: This newsletter came out of my experiences dealing in a new culture and a new history. The purpose of the newsletter is to provoke serious thought about musical art. What is it? Where should it be going? In addition, what is going on in China? I write about my personal experiences and my thoughts about them.
Last Week: Hong Kong: FCC is Foreign Correspondent Club, an exclusive club for members and able to afford the top paying jazz musicians there nearly every night. (Jason Lee’s definition of FCC which he sent me.)
This is were I introduced myself to a few new musicians I haven’t met. Allen Young Blood, who plays piano and composer, and Sylvain Gagnon who is an upright bass performer. Skip, Jason and Larry I met before in HK.
Well, It was an exciting evening because we played some nice jazz and we got to know each other a little better musically. I also found my way back to Shenzhen a lot easier which was a big plus for me.
I want to say, “Skip, Jason, Larry, Sylvain and Allen all had a warm welcome for me.” Allen said something really funny, “this guy came from Out of Nowhere.” This tune was the first big jazz solo I played with a big band way back in 1963 at North Texas University. Yes I have been a behind the scene musician for many years creating my own music in NYC and not looking for commercial success really just looking to create my music which I did. But I must say commercial success would be fun too even at my age.
Also on Friday, I went to The LaSalle College Orchestral Performance. It was a big success and this school has really made a commitment to improving their music program. In NYC when I produced my Children’s Music School I tried to promote 4 years of music education for all students just like they would take English. Music civilizes us and makes us better people if it is quality music and not junk music like junk food and junk mail. But of course no one listened to me; so, after two years I gave up my pursuit of trying to create more interest in music and education. I produced 60 ½ hour TV shows. Music in NYC has gone down to such a level we got rap music out of it. They took the music programs out of the schools some 35 years ago. They are starting to upgrade again but the damage is already done. There is a lot of interest in music in the States except for me it is of low quality type of music or traditional music concert music. Even if you play Mozart every night it gets to be too much and people lose the effect of the real art in Mozart.
China & New York: Here I thought, China a developing country and looking to be, the top country in the world, if not already in some ways, I could create an interest in music education especially where there isn’t much here in Shenzhen. But it seems music in Shenzhen is just to distract the workers or entertain them for a few moments so they can go to work the next day. No serious art development at all. New York City is a real center for creative music, but it is all underground really and does not have a national presents, but there are people there creating or trying to create something. But to me NYC is too complicated and people are involved in politics more than music to get ahead.
One cannot have the peace to create. This is why I left NY because I was always politicking and not playing or writing music. My friend, Steve Little, a successful studio musician in NYC said he never played any music in 25 years of his career. It just was all about money he said.
I really like Chinese traditional music I believe it is creative and is through composed and not repetitive music. I am wondering how much traditional music is being produced today? The modern Chinese pop music I can say is like all pop music for me very boring and repetitive. They use the same formula over and over again, slow tempo always or ballad style. I believe China really needs to allow its people to become more creative. All the successful Chinese artists seem to go to foreign countries to learn their craft.
What is your opinion? I would like to get some feed back and send it to my other readers? If you have any thoughts about these subjects let me know.
TV background music is awful. I wish people would complain about it so the TV Stations would hire some real musicians and put real music there.
The universities stick their heads in the sand and pretend there is a real culture in the world. Culture is a rare thing. So much garbage in the world of Art.
Have some ideas about creating some new bands in HK, but not sure I have the musicians support. Well, one idea is to use east Indian drummers along with the traditional instrumentation and traditional songs and harmony. I believe these drummers could make a great contribution to jazz. Also, my nine or ten piece band with four horn front. But I would have to get a university or a club interested in helping us get started. I have over one hundred original songs I composed and I could make into arrangements so we could have a world class modern jazz band in HK with horns. There are a couple of excellent bands now, but not of my flavor with more of a NYC approach to jazz
Every city I have lived in the musicians have a different idea of what jazz is. New York has the most diverse group of musicians really. So one could move around a lot into different areas of music.
My questions for me is what is the future of my music here in China? Just want to perform I guess at this point. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting is my problem if it is a problem.
all rights reserved 2003 (for personal use only not for commercial publications)
Greg Henry Waters
Shenzhen, China (86 755) 8353 2883 Mobile Phone 13510896962
Personal Site http://greghenrywaters.com
Non-profit site http://cmporg.org