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Sunday, February 05, 2012

This is probably the Chinese song I have heard that I happen to like the most. Again, it's a song from Kelly Cha; this theme of modern lifestyle and how it ...interfaces... with the deepest emotional bonds seems very common in her thematics, and I think the topic is wonderfully dealt with in this lyrics. I waited a bit before deciding to translate this song because I am still very early in my study of the Chinese language; so, in case I got something wrong, I apologize and I am eager to get some comments.

First, let's deal with the details. The title is "每个人心里都有一个路卡", literally, "Every person has a (network) card in the heart". The term "interface" as in "connector" has another "preferred" word in Chinese (which is 接口 - jiē​kǒu - connection port); however, 路卡 - lùkǎ - is still used by specialists to describe the computer cards, especially the network cards, and it's also used sometimes to refer to the user interface (GUI) of a program. It bears an idea of motion and roadways, ad 路 - lù - literally means "road". It is evident that Kelly is using the meaning of "networking, interface" which is associated with this word.

The music is a gentle, cherishing electronic trance tune, where Kelly's warm, embracing voice is just perfect. If you're curious, you can easily find it on Youtube or on the net.

This song tells a story of how's life in this electronic era, in the Age of Information, where humanity is, on one side, pushed aside and turned into bits (in IT terms), but on the other, exalted and important like never before. In this age where computers seems to rule the order of the universe, staying human has become even more important than ever, and while it might be more difficult to hold our own humanity, we became able to express it through new means, or we may say now, through new media.

In this sense, we might now recognize a true interface in our soul ("heart", "soul" and "core" are interchangeable concepts all grouped under the Chinese word 心 - xīn), which allows us to communicate with other human being as never before. While there is a risk to lose our own humanity in the process, there is also the opportunity to enrich it and bring it to a new level of understanding, that was never so near and achievable as in this information era.

And in fact, when listening this song, I feel a bit like being One with the singer, as she probably wanted.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I've been studying a bit Chinese lately, and I must admit that it's a quite ravishing language. So I started to listen a bit of music and found something interesting.

I think that music is the mirror of the current status of a civilization. Music has culture, civil values, feelings, poetry, technique and yes, also an economic dimension. Italian music is mean and empty lately, except for a few excellent artists that are also a bit controversial, and this reflects the current status of the Italian civilization. Music coming from the USA... well, but I digress.

The point is that, although not representative of the vastness of Chinese culture, and although it seems that Hong Kong is leading the Chinese music industry (and that's a relatively "special" area of China), a set of good waves are coming from there. Mainstream POP is still a bit flat, but there are artists (especially composer-singers), that are beginning to display originality and innovation, while taking the bests suggestions from the Chinese cultural background and from foreign moods but re-expressing them with an undeniable personal feeling.

Up to date, what I have noticed is that Chinese pop music excels in progressive/underground pop. The best things I heard lately in that ground are definitely coming from China. I talk of little known groups like "Miss slik socks", or authors like Xu Zhepei.

Among those, the most "innovating" one I heard is probably Kelly Cha. Some of her songs have some magic that is quite new to me. I found this one "天不亮我不睡" (The sky isn't bright, so I can't sleep), and I couldn't resist the temptation to translate it word by word.

It's my first attempt on a Chinese poetry, so if any Chinese passing by can correct my mistakes, I'd be glad.