Twenty-five years in Japan-it feels like a lifetime, and at the same time it feels like it's all gone by in a flash. When I look back, what comes into focus are the faces of all the people that I've had the honor of crossing paths with over these many years. |
Come to think of it, I've had two grand adventures in my life thus far.
When I first left my hometown for Beijing, I believed that the world was my oyster?that my future was secure. The prospect of playing next to the most talented musicians from across the country in one of the nation's top orchestras was a dream come true, and I felt a great sense of pride to be included in their ranks. But the longer I was there, the more I began to feel the limitations of playing only Chinese music in a group that played only Chinese instruments. Whatever I had in me that needed expressing, it would never go beyond national borders; what I wanted to do was branch out and explore new frontiers for my chosen instrument, the erhu. And so, still not entirely sure what I was doing, I grabbed my instrument, my suitcase, my meager life savings, and left the country. That was 25 years ago. Chalk it up to youthful vigor that I had the audacity to think I would find something in Japan, a country where I couldn't speak the language and had no connections to speak of.
My naivete aside, if I had never come to Japan, I would have never met the many people who gave me the foundation to realize an entirely new world of possibilities for the erhu. And I will continue to sing along with my instrument for I know that it will guide me to new friends and collaborators still.
There are no words to describe how moved I was at the drive and dedication brought to this project by the producer, composers and arrangers, musicians, and engineers. The exchange and interplay of talent and ideas was a source of endless inspiration.
And to you, dear listener, who picked up and are now listening to this album, I offer my most heartfelt gratitude.
Jia Peng Fang