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湘悟 (窟燕晩豚:2010-07-09 15:32:15 堋響繁肝:1615 指鹸方:0)

  17, The Fifth stage of My Violin Life

1. How Australians value my violin playing

On the aircraft for Melbourne, I recalled the last twenty years of my personal history, a history of struggle: from I fell in love with violin at the first sight at primary school time, so that often after school I walked a few kilometers to the music store only for taking a look of the violin from glass cabinet with my nose flattened; with help from master Zhou I made my first white violin at the age of 12; during my middle school time competing with my big rival Ma Xiao-Mao in the Mao propaganda team; overheard western violin Pieces played by my first violin teacher Lee from church window; then I became the concertmaster of an Changsha amateur orchestra; a conflict with conductor Xiao at the Changsha Opera; fight with foreman Peng at the construction company for the right to play violin; ignorant and shamelessly struggle for the position as the concertmaster at the Hunan Beijing-Opera; the hardship and bitterness of having education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; followed by money making, the TOEFL test, a passport application, visa etc etc, walked such a long way until the day I finally on the plan flying!

If all there facts could not prove that ^a man fight for one¨s better life ̄ to be the correct way, to prove that I won, I¨m a violist, I had been doing the right thing? What else can?

I think anyone would agree in front of the hard facts. However, why am I not satisfied with myself? After much thought, I realized for my success, even recognized by the whole world still wouldn¨t be enough for me, because there was no man who did not recognize me, yet for me, the one man was more important than all the people put together in the whole world, that man is, my FATHER. Yes, it was my father, his attitude towards me, dismissive attitude towards my success, could not make me feel satisfied, proud and fulfilled. Therefore, I must go on working harder to beat him, in all and any aspects. I must become a more respectable and richer person, must speak better English than he did, including getting girl friends, must be everyone prettier than his wife´ In short, emotionally speaking, as long as I can convince him and make him appreciate and admire me, I would do anything possible.

On the plan, excitement with anxiety; satisfaction with disappointment; hope with frustration, was a true reflection of my frame of mind at the time.

About my life after leaving China for Australia and later for Norway, I have another autobiography titled ^An angel an intellectual & a prostitute ̄. In that book I gave a vivid and detailed description of how a Chinese young man adopts himself into western culture and society. This book I choose to focus on the story between my father and me to go with the violin.

I believe the majority of overseas¨ students like me who knows no one, no family no friends no background, would have to go through a long and bitter process before they could be gain a legal immigration status and economical success.

I must be luckier, or there must be a God who specially looks after me. I was totally financially safe only after three months being in Australia, and six months later I started to feel rich (of course not that ^rich ̄ rich, only to compare with my life in China); less than one year I bought my own car and a house; and there was an Australian citizen waiting for changing my identity from a overseas student to an Australian citizen.

Indeed I loved Australia, and still love it now. But there was one thing that made me very sad. That was how Australians valuing my violin playing. I meant my violin playing was not recognized or appreciated by Australians. Though I had a considerably good income as a manager of a private institution, but I could not give up my ID or the value as a ^violinist. ̄ Though I took part of some rehearsals and concerts in several orchestras in Melbourne; yet no one invited me or accepted me to be their full time regular member. This made me truly melancholy, until a day someone told me the reason. The reason was though my violin playing techniques was OK, yet the style was quite different from the westerners. To put it concretely, my violin sounded too harsh too noisy, part from the factory made violin as well as the extremely cheap steel strings which I used, the way of playing I learnt from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music was too energetic, in addition some ^rebel ̄ from Cultural Revolution left in my blood.

Nevertheless, I, ^the little Nine-brother ̄ at that time, of course, was not able to realize my own problems, but kept blaming the Australians as low class westerners. For we all know they were descendants of those who were exiled by the British government, weren¨t they?

2. How Norwegians value my violin playing

Except violin, life was wonderful in Australia, work, friends, barbecue parties or beach walking by weekends, when everything went well and I started to doubt if I really need to make an effort to study in USA? Or why not get married with Eileen, an extremely good hearted Australia woman, and settle myself down there. At exactly this time, I met Marianne Seather, a Norwegian scholar who happened in Melbourne. We were pure friends, only met couple of times, and went a movie together once. One night I woke up in a nightmare and in the nightmare something about my father and my violin ´ I made a mid-night call to my new friend Marianne. In the phone I said ^Somehow I feel uneasy in Australia. ̄ She replied ^come to Norway. ̄ That became my reason to Norway.

Norway, should be a high class westerner¨s world, yet unfortunately my violin playing was received as same as I was in Australia. First I was rejected by two professional orchestras in Oslo. I only had a small position at a semi-professional orchestra far away from Oslo.

^If you do not have anything else to do, why don¨t you get some education at the Norwegian State Academy of Music? ̄ My second wife Marianne suggested.

^Of course, I would love to. And this is what I¨m here for. But´ ̄ I was thinking of finance, as I hade no such good income as I did in Australia. As a matter of fact, I was jobless.

^Education is free in Norway. ̄ Marianne figured out what¨s in my mind.

^Free? You mean free FREE! ̄

I followed my wife¨s advice went to the Norwegian State Academy of Music for violin lessons.

My teacher was Professor Boyhansen. I remembered in the first lesson, he turned on a tape recorder, and said ^play something for me, whatever you would like to play is fine. ̄

In order to show off my technique, I chose Wieniawski¨s ^Tarantella ̄, an extremely fast difficult piece of music that I had spent more than 10 years to practice it. After the playing I was quite proud of myself for not stop in the middle and no mistakes.

But Professor Boyhansen looked somewhat amused. What hurt my feeling most was his comment ^music is not sports, is not to see how fast you fingers can run. ̄

Professor Boyhansen¨s teaching method was totally different from any of my former Chinese teachers. Unlike all other teacher when gave first lesson always asking me to change way of holding the violin or the bow, Professor Boyhansen gave me some very simple easy melodies. And more he asked me to do was to listen to him giving lessons to other Norwegian students. As if my profession was listening. In addition, he lent me some tapes and CDs, also advised me to listen to more tapes and CDs at the academy library. After a period of time, Professor Boyhansen handed me a tape, said to me ^this is what I recorded at your first class, take it home and listen to it carefully, to see if there is some differences to other tapes and CDs you have been listening. ̄

After listened to my tape at home, I felt nothing was more convincing, as I found that my recording was indeed very different from all other tapes and CDs. To put it concretely my recording sounded more like the Chinese ballet ^the Red Women Army ̄ full of gunpowder flavor, just like the great leader Chairman Mao¨s teaching, was like ^a weapon that uniting and educating the people to against the enemy. ̄ While those western recordings such as the ballet ^Swan Lake ̄ sounded soft and sweet, like someone said ^the art that influence on and appreciated by the human souls. ̄

Apart from the way of playing, the instrument (violin) itself that I played was very different from the violins Europeans were playing. They all use very fine old Italian master works, and with very expensive gut strings on them, while I though updated a handmade violin by a young master from Guangzhou instead the factory violin I used to play in Australia, but I was still playing on some very cheap China made steel strings.

3. Sheng Zhonghua come to Norway

No one knows the name Sheng zhonghua outside of China. But in China, many people still remember this name even she has been disappeared from China for more than 20 years. She is the second child the first daughter of the most well known violin family in China. Her elder brother Sheng Zhongguo is a symbol of Chinese violinist. She was my teacher when I studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

All my violin experience in the west made me feel very upset, that I began to doubt about the Shanghai Conservatory of Music that I graduated from was really the ^world class ̄. Therefore I wrote a letter to my former teacher Sheng Zhonghua. Sheng wrote back to me immediately, with well written handwriting and very nicely chosen words. She said ^couldn¨t be that bad, could be? Next time when you take lesson from Professor Boyhansen, please also send my regards, and don¨t forget to tell him if there is an opportunity I would like very much to see how he teaches. ̄

I honestly passed teacher Sheng¨s message to Professor Boyhansen. Boyhansen heard that, thought it could be a great idea. For if he not only teaches me, but also teaches my teacher Sheng. Afterwards teacher Sheng could bring his method back to China and influence more Chinese people. In another word, Professor Boyhansen would become a teacher of another nation.

After some letters back and force, I met my teacher Sheng at Oslo airport. Just like the first time I went to Australia, she brought a violin, or should I say ^a violin look wooden box ̄ from mass production by a Chinese factory.

The first time when I took teacher Sheng to meet my professor, she asked me to give Boyhansen a tape of her solo performance. To my surprise when I opened it there was no tape in the tape case. What made me and my professor even more or extremely confused was that it was not a mistake. Teacher Sheng took the tape out and only gave him an outside case on purpose. I have no idea even to today what purpose that could possibly be?

But what made Professor Boyhansen even more upset was when they met the first time teacher Sheng did not mention how to exchange teaching method and ideas, or how to learn from him, but asking names and addresses of orchestras in Oslo. And then she expressed her willingness to work for one of the professional orchestras there.

The orchestra that teacher Sheng applied was the same one that I once applied but not accepted with the result only get into the second stage but not the final. According to Teacher Sheng violin performing ability, being accepted as a member should not be a problem at all. I was waiting for my teacher¨s good news. Waite until her get into the orchestra, as a former student, I would be proud too (having more face, as Chinese saying) that would also be a prove that the Shanghai Conservatory of Music is indeed the world class. It was only me, not good enough. However, after a few days, an astonishing result occurred. Among the 7 applicants, only one could not even get into the second stage (being passed after the first stage) That applicant, was the great and famous violinist in my motherland, a professor of the best music institution in China, and the one I used to worship, my former teacher Sheng Zhonghua!

I had no idea this stroke meant what to teacher Sheng? To me, it was vital. Because, to me, Norway, as a high class western country, rejecting teacher Sheng¨s way of violin playing, is a negation to my 20 years of hard working and arduous struggle, or a negation to my life!

However, teacher Sheng is a person of not easily admitting defeat. By teacher Sheng¨s strong request, Professor Boyhansen had to help arranging a violin recital for her. I had the entire good wish in my heart to support her, hoping she could put all her abilities in a good use and obtain recognition from the Norwegians. I counted on her success, to gain a little face back for my country China, for the face of our education. To put all my hope into action I gave (not lent) her as a present my own violin that made by a Guangzhou master special for me. I prey for God, for Buddha, for any gods exist in the universe, for my teacher Sheng¨ successful recital. I expect the concert would be sensational, outstanding, I even imagined the newspaper radio and TV people interviewing Sheng , and my giving cool interpretation.

Teacher Sheng¨s violin recital took place at the small hall of the Norwegian State Academy of Music.

I went to the concert hall on the recital day very early. Waited until the time was near, almost on one got into the hall except a few who were already there. I felt rather abnormal, quickly ran to the door to tell doorman letting people in. To my astonishment there was no doorman, for there were no people to let in. I hurried back to the hall, carefully counted head by head, a total of less than ten people, if I remember correctly. And all the people inside the hall were black haired. And blond was only one, the one playing piano to accompany teacher Sheng. Nevertheless, I still hoped that among the ten someone would come from media, carrying a tape recorder or a video. If put teacher Sheng¨s recital on the papers, or radio TV, it would also be some influence. However, sadly, teacher Sheng performance, how could me, a former student put into words? In nutshell, when show was over, I was glad that there were just a few people, felt lucky for there were no media people there that might leave some recording as evidence. Though teacher Sheng did have many excuses not to play as well as expected, just like many of her previous performing experiences, one out of such was when she was young, she played an unsatisfactory solo because of taking some medicine chlorpheniramine that made her sleepy.

Teacher Sheng¨s three months visa as a visiting scholar passed quickly like a blink of eyes. When I was busy thinking beside the violin I had given to her, what I should give to her as back-home present.

Three months quiet and unknown in Norway teacher Sheng was suddenly on the new papers, TV and radios. But the pity was, her face on media was not because of her outstanding violin playing, but a procedure of applying as a refugee. The reason for teacher Sheng to be a refugee was, OUTSTANDING, because if she goes back to China, her husband would beat her to death.

The news of Sheng Zhonghua¨s refugee thing spread to the ears of Professor Boyhansen. He was not happy of course. He told me that ^I invited your former teacher as a visiting scholar coming to Norway to learn my violin teaching technique and understand more western music, so that when she goes back she can benefit students in China. Since she intends to stay, there will be meaningless to go on with our project. ̄

This Professor Boyhansen difficult-to-understand phenomenon, namely ^Chinese intellectuals once out of the country do not want to go back ̄, I dare to say is a difficult-to-understand phenomenon to most people in the western developed countries in the world. For, after the establishment of the New China, Chinese intellectuals with the title as the ^stinking ninth category ̄ were among the lowest social status. Through the endless and countless political campaigns, the intellectuals would always be among the targets. As a slogan said ^the more knowledge the more reactionary (to the society) ̄ How could the westerners be possibly understand the inhuman suffering and ill-treatment the Chinese intellectuals had experienced. In addition, the extreme narrow mind, selfish, shortsighted, is a general character of the Chinese nation. Therefore, we, people from a ^mind one¨s own business and care for nobody ̄ nation, once their feet on another soil, few will go back to the motherland. (This was the situation in the year 80s. Now changed a lot)

I am a Chinese too, I posses all the Chinese characteristics, I am also a person ^care for nobody ̄. However, I must care for teacher Sheng, because, after all, she was not only my former teacher, but also I was the one caused her to be in Norway. Heard Sheng applying for refugee status, my first reaction was she had cut off her back road (a road she can escape when she is cornered. The ^back road ̄ was her motherland)

I immediately went to see Sheng, blamed her for had not discussed before she made such a big decision. I, though being her violin student, after all had been more years in foreign countries, spoke more languages, and knew a little more about local policies and laws.

Sheng smiled at me, shut-up all my complains by one sentence, ^I could do anything for love. For love, I would give up everything, such as fame, social status, face´everything. ̄

Love? Love L O V E ! ! ! ?

No wonder she said if she goes back her husband would beat her to death! It reminded me some rumor saying that after Sheng gave birth with her second husband, she started to see someone else, a tall young photographer. The young man somehow came to Norway first, that became the real and secret reason for Sheng to wrote to me so nicely, coming to study with my professor Boyhansen´Then, evidently the rumor was true, indeed to that rumor, Sheng was giving up her family, her career, her value as a violin professor, and even her future life in China.

After heard the word ^love ̄, I really wonder I should be happy for her or sorry for her, because I knew it so clearly that Norway, to the majority of people, may be the world¨s richest, safest, and most free, most leisure paradise, but definitely not an idea place for teacher Sheng to stay for a long term, as Sheng was a kind of people who constantly needs to be appreciated. To people like her, Norway could be the most monotonous, desolate, lonely, boring hell, also because the value of teacher Sheng, or her name was known only limited in the Chinese community. Therefore I thought one day, someday, she would realize that and go back to where she belongs, the Chinese circle. Even if unable to return to the mainland, she should try to go to Hong Kong, Taiwan, or even Singapore.

Thought about all these, I grew a kind of feeling that my helping Sheng coming to Norway was ^good will ended with bad result ̄. A sense of self-blame came to my mind spontaneously.

4. Meeting Sheng Zhongguo

I think it was in the early 90¨s, I went back to China once. I took that opportunity to visit teacher Sheng¨ mother in Beijing. Sheng¨ mother, is a super mother who raised 11 talents music talent, among them the eldest son Sheng Zhongguo is a great violinist, the idol and symbol of the New China violin soloist. The mother was staying with the eldest son. That gave me chance to meet the greatest violinist, the one I could not possibly dream to meet when I was a young boy.

I went to see them with a heave heart as what I did for my teacher did not really gave her very good result.

Sheng¨s mother originally from Shangsha, the same city where I am from. Therefore I felt very close when we met.

Sheng Zhongguo said ^You are my sister¨s students, but also a half hometown fellow of my family, we do not need take all the trouble to go out, just at stay home having an everyday family meal. ̄

After meal, inevitably Sheng zhongguo and I went to talk about violins. Sheng Zhongguo showed me his violin, a pretty good Italian old violin. The reason I say that violin being ^pretty good ̄ meant not extremely good, not a violin should be in the hands of his level´

In short, the meeting with Sheng Zhongguo, the absolute top of my country, up to that time, made me realize very clearly that violin, as a branch of art, regardless software (way of performing) or hardware (instruments, the violins themselves), China has a great distance behind the western developed countries.

I¨d rather stop here and omit the details, as it might hurt the feeling of many. Moreover, some information may be considered to be privacy or confidentiality within the industry circle.

After said goodbye to Sheng¨s mother her son, the great Sheng Zhongguo and the family, I walked alone in the street for a long time feeling a total loss and defeat. Just imagine, if a someone found his masters is not a invincible man as he believed, and starts to have doubt about what he has leant from his master and all the years efforts an hard train being useful, how would you feel?

5. Self-Renewal from Scratch

The harsh reality forced me to realize that, if I really want to make a living in the west, as it says ^in Rome, speak Romance. ̄ I must adopt myself to the European way of violin playing. Think that way, I was glad I was not a professor, not famous, have no face to lose. As far as I work hard, I can learn and renewal, and become a completely new person.

Back to Norway, I completely gave up my peacockery and self-respect as a violinist, honestly, seriously and solidly took violin lessons from Professor Boyhansen.

As a human, one not only is aware of his deficiencies, but also to acknowledge them, is indeed a painful experience. However, I also came to understand that to realize I am not a very good violinist, at least not as good as I think, just like to realize I am not a very good person, at least not as good as I think I am, is a life milestone that marks a higher level of life stage.

Now my mind is clear, and thinking is correct, everything is on the track quickly. After a period of learning and practice, not only the style of violin playing, (software), but also the violin itself (hardware) had a fundamental change. (I bought an old Italian master violin at the price 50,000 U.S. dollars worth in Sweden, that I love so much that I could die for it)

I still remember the last lesson Professor Boyhansen gave to me. He first let me listen to the recording of my very first lesson. That revolutionary, Red Guard-like energetic harsh flavor made me couldn¨t help laughing. I must look very awkward. It¨s embarrassing. He then changed to another recording. The cream flavored sound was very sweet charming elegant. In the end he told me that was my playing too, that he recorded in the previous class. I was so surprised and found hard to believe that with efforts one could make such a huge change, beyond recognition.

Then, Professor Boyhansen solemnly announced ^basically you should be able to work for European professional Orchestras. ̄ And immediately he invited me to take part in his own chamber orchestra.

The very first concert I participated was a contemporary I Italian work. Unfortunately at the time and until now, I only remember the piece is very difficult, but not anything else, not even one sentence of the melody.

Soon after that, I finally got at position at a professional orchestra in Oslo. That meant I have a stable job, or convert it in a Chinese saying, to hold an iron rice-bowl of the capitalism. Followed I and my Norwegian wife Marianne bought a big new condo (with a bank loans). And soon after that I bought a used BMW. Like that, Marianne worked for the Oslo University, I worked for the orchestra, the life of us finally settled down.

What is the dream for most Chinese fight their way abroad? To live in one¨s own house, drive one own car, sleep with a western woman, should considered to be the dream, and my dream had come true.

I took some photos of what I own, house, car, wife, and had them sent to my elder brother Danjin back to Hunan, hoping he would show the photos the whole family, especially to our father. Imagine my father and my family looking at pictures of the wonder and envy, I was immersed in a complacent mood, a mood of great satisfactory.

My body shape was also unconsciously getting rounder and rounder in that mood, mood of comfort and satisfaction.

6. Violin-sound at the Karl Johansgate

Anyone who has been to Oslo must know the street named Karl Johansgate.

Norway is a small country. Oslo is very small capital in the small country, and at the very center of the small capital. Karl Johansgate is located at the very center of Oslo. It is the most popular and most crowded zone of the whole country.

It is a narrow walking street leading from the railway station to the royal palace, with the total length, say, about 2KM. By the two side of the street there are variety shops cafes´In the evening, people like to gather here for street performers, spectators, or for nothing but hang on. They go up and down, up and down alone the street. When they see something interesting they stop, of they feel not interesting any more the keep going.

At the very first days when I arrived in Norway, that was a place where I often spent my treasures youth time for nothing. Since I got a job in the orchestra my life was on track and I had less and less time to be wasted there.

I was a long time since I passed the Karl Johansgate, one night after rehearsal one of the orchestra members asked me to go through Karl Johansgate with him. THAT became another turning point of my life.

When my orchestra colleague Per and I walked on the Karl Johansgate, in a distance I saw a Chinese man hunging a camera on his chest, standing in the middle of the road. He asked pedestrians passing by whether they would like their pictures taken. That reminded me when I was at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music I did the same side business of photography service to my fellow students, I grew a sort of sympathy and understanding. With a bit of worry, I said to Per ^Nowadays who has no camera? How could he have business? ̄

^Wrong, who every day would carry a camera around? People just take pictures for fun in a good mood, in addition he is taking black and white, that old thing become new today. You know many young people today don¨t have black of white photo of themselves. Me for instance, have taken quick a few by him. In fact, some turned out not bad´ ̄ Per said.

Sure enough, there were really few people in a queue waiting for his picture taken. Influenced by the atmosphere I was about to queue by the end, partly also to show my little support to the compatriot I over heard a sound of violin tuning, and then violin music. That shocked me because the way of playing that piece of music sounded so familiar, too familiar! It looked toward the direction where the sound came from, immediately I regret. If I had worn a hat, that hat would bellowing away from my head, not by wend, but by my going-straight-hair. Because the lady who played violin, not only playing style similar to my former teachers, even she looked exactly the same. The reason I put it this way, is because until today, I still do not wish to admit that cruel fact. The fact was, the lady playing violin in the street, was not anybody else but my teacher, a professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, our great Sheng Zhonghua!

Sheng avoided showing her face to the audience, totally different form what I used to see on the stage. She occasionally looked up to exchange her view to the camera man with love, the camera man, looked much younger than my teacher, turned his eyesight with encouragement.

Then I got everything figured out. That was the man, for whom my teacher Sheng falling in love with. It is for this street photographer, professor Sheng had left his second husband, their child, all her students in China, as well as the hour as a teacher the title as a professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, to come here, playing violin at the Karl Johansgate in the cold wind at night.

Afraid for being seen by Sheng, I quickly hide myself among the crowd. Listen to that familiar sound of violin, looking at the familiar figure; I was badly hit by an emotional storm.

First of all, I felt extremely sorry for a famous violinist, a violin professor falling to be a street player, particularly the professor was my idol to worship, my destiny hoping to reach during my past years in China. It was precisely the same person I would feel luck to meet her, be honored to shake hands with her, be proud to be her student, now actually sort of begging on the street in front of my eyes. No one could say this impact was not extremely great.

However, this ^falling to be a street player ̄ might, after all, a general view of ordinary people; teacher Sheng might not at all think the same way. Perhaps she was enjoying a flavor of a totally new life, experiencing a new meaning and value of being alive, appreciating human rights and freedom that she couldn¨t impossibly have in her home country.

The brain was busy thinking, emotion was also restless, and my heart was touched completely. Imagine, a woman, at her age (close to 50), could give up everything for love, what kind of courage that would be! Could anyone be not moved by that! If that was not a reality but in the novel or a movie, a pair of lovers, away from home, one taking pictures and the other playing violin to make a happy living, what a brilliant touching and romantic story that would be? Unfortunately, in front of my eyes, was neither a novel nor a movie, it was simply plain facts, reality. Especially, I had a distinct impression, that it would not be a question this romance as a great movement of her life long love symphony was great. The only question was no one was too sure how long, this great movement could last.

Therefore I analyzed my feeling toward the whole thing; I found a quite a part of my being touched heart was sadness. However, do I really need to be sad? Haven¨t we heard the saying ^would rather take a short true love and happiness, instead of life-long-together suffering? ̄

In fact, again, the way teacher

Sheng choose to live, was her rights and freedom. What am I? Her father? No, I was no more than a student, a former student exactly, why should I worry so much about her. I have provided a bridge to get her to Norway. I had already completed my historical mission. Teacher Sheng was at least not like many Chinese students, make loud complain to those who made huge effort to bring them abroad, saying, ^how could you do not look after me Oh, you took me out and not care about me after you get me out of the country? You should be doing good things to the end! ̄

My thoughts were awakened by a push of my impatient orchestra colleague Per. He puzzled and asked me ^Do you know that Asian woman who plays the violin? ̄

^Ah´ ̄

To personally know the great Sheng Zhonghua, used to sound like a hot air, Chinese people say ^blowing a cow skin ̄, to show off by knowing some great person, but this time, I hesitated to admit, only took 50 kroner note, stuffed in Per¨s hand, said ^Please help me to put it into the violin case for me. ̄ I emphasized it was to ^put ̄ but not to ^throw ̄ it into the violin case.

^Why so much, usually 10 kroner coin is considered to be more than enough´ ̄

I did not let Per finish, pushed his back forwards. I walked forward, looked back at me, once, twice, with incredible expression, gently and carefully PUT the 50 Kroner bill into teacher Sheng¨s violin case. I had no courage to see my teacher Sheng¨s reaction to the money note, rushed home.

7. Self-questioning My Own Life

Came back from Karl Johansgate, I still could not get my mind away from Sheng¨s playing on the street. I slept not one minute the whole night.

Sheng¨s brave action of giving up everything for love inspired me greatly, made me re-thinking the fundamental meaning of life. I seriously questioned myself ^do I really satisfied with the current lifestyle? Is this truly my goal of life? ̄

My mind became clearer after I analyzed my violin life calmly and rationally. It brought me this kind of conclusion: Me, being an individual with strong personality and not sociable by nature, basically do not suit to play in an orchestra at first place. Besides, I found I never really liked those classical works I played in the orchestra. I felt a distance between me and the western classical music, especially music written for noble class. On the contrary, music with personality and passion, such as national songs, pop songs, local tunes, country folk music or even some jazz,. In other words, compare with complex symphony, I prefer the simple passionate beautiful melodies.

In addition, one minor problem with me was I could not really get alone well with my orchestra colleagues. The violinists all over the world seem to share a same character ^good self feeling ̄. For instance me, as one of the world violinists, feel good and very special about myself, not ordinarily ^feel good ̄ about myself, but ^feel ex-ordinarily good ̄ about myself, far superiors than anyone and anything. To me, the whole world is made of four strings, nothing else.

If that was the case, why should I torture myself everyday with the same group of people I was not good with to play the same kind of music repeatedly that I was not really in love with? Was that really the original intention or dream to learn to play the violin? Is this my purpose of life? We all know I life limited, is short. Should I spend my time and life for things I don¨t like in order to go on living? If so, what is the meaning for being living?

The greatest psychological crises for human being is no more than doubting the ideology of meaning of life that one has been struggle fight for, or deny one¨s meaning of life. Imagine, my communist party member father, has to face the fact that the communist ideology as a social theory dose not work in reality, all my father struggled and worked for was all meaningless and in vain. What a cruel and broken-hearted picture that would be to my father?

Then, I started to recall how I got myself into this violin ^pirate ship ̄. At the very beginning, I just purely liked the violin sound, the look of the violin and how people playing in it, the music too of course, and a little bit limelight in front of others, perhaps. Gradually, the violin became a problem between me and my father, my weapon to fight with my father. The purpose was to father¨s recognized. Later, violin turned to be more utilitarian, became my means of making a living as well as to gain social status.

Any one wants to be a serious musician needs to have the sense of dedicating all oneself to classical music. Yet am I really willing to dedicate myself to classical music, to use all my time and life to go through the numerous great historical violin works? No, no, no, I¨m a different kind of person. I need to look for the music, or to make music that I really like, that would touch my heart and express my feelings.

Heard that I wanted to quit my orchestra job, secure income and social status that after I worked very hard to get, a dream job that many people would admire including my teacher sheng, if for someone else, would think that I must be crazy, out of my mind, but my wife Marianne didn¨t think that way. She said ^Someone with dream is far better than someone without dream. I like you because you a man full of dreams. ̄

8. Searching for a new way of life

This is a universal and eternal truth, that is no matter how great one¨s ideal or how beautiful one¨s dream is, it can¨t replace everyday rice, or bread for the westerns. I, as a person, (in the Norwegian society, the equality betwwen men and women is absolute, therefore, I can not address myself as a ^man ̄ but a ^person ̄) can not always rely upon my wife Marianne to feed me, especially when she was wearing two hats, working for the university and continuing her academic papers at the same time.

At this time, a man showed up and that changed my life destination. the senior man is called Clow, a violin shop owner in Oslo. When he got to know I could not only play violin, but also make and repair violin, immediately asked me if I would like to have some kind of co-operation with him. So, we soon became business partners. Later I learned that Clow was at the age looking for a suitable successor.

Based on my past experience of buying-and-selling Chinese painting, I knew business would generate economic benefits. Yet still I did not expect comfortable life would come so soon after got myself into the violin business. Not a few months I gave up my old Italian Fiat, replaced a used BMW, but still a BMW.

However, the economic emancipation did not make me forget that I was a musician, an artist, not just a craftsman or a salesman; I must find my own artistic way of life. For that I first I changed my post graduate study at the Music Academy from ^violin performance ̄ to ^violin acoustics ̄. This study consists of three parts: violin acoustics theory, violin playing and violin making. I began to adjust violin sound and small repairs for other musicians. Thanks to my violin playing ability combine with theoretical studies in addition to my smartness and ingenuity of my hands, I soon won some fame among local musicians.

Unexpectedly my walking away from the classical music did not make my Professor Boyhanson angry, on the contrary he encouraged me to do so by saying, ^there are various of music in the world, classical music is just part of them. To find music that one truly loves, can really expresses one¨s feeling, have the passion to share with others, is everyone¨s freedom and rights. I think this way, and teach this way. That is why I use different method to teach different students. I do not wish my student to copy me. One Boyhanson in the world is enough. My task is to find the characteristics of each student and push them towards their own direction. Of course, this does not apply to those who are will to be professional orchestra players. ̄ Professor Boyhanson ended up telling me that though he could continue teaching me some violin playing technique and skills, but could not help much about the music I might like. Therefore he suggested me to go see other professors of other academies in other counties.

Follow Professor Boyhanson¨s advice, I spent several summers to some music academies of other countries, started first from all Scandinavian courtiers, down to Germany, Hungary, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Soviet, West to Austria, UK, France, Swiss, south to Italy and Spain, as well as the United States, looking for music that I might like, and experts of violin acoustics that I could study with. But, to my disappointment, almost all teachers and professors in the world were more focus violin playing basic technique and skill rather than music itself. In order to catch original flavor of local or folk music, I decide to go finding my own way. I tried to get myself into some folk music group. I even spent a few nights with a Gipsy band. Through that, my got to know a lot of musicians and music I didn¨t know, among the musicians and music, some touched me and moved me very much. Those were perplexed days of my life, until I meet a lady, a lady known all over the world.

9. Kyung Wha Chung point a direction to me

The known name is Kyung Wha Chung, a world leading violinist. The opportunity to get to know her was when she came to give a recital in Norway; she had a minor trouble of her violin. We two Asians in a northern European country soon got alone well. Once after rehearsal we sat together in a restaurant having some very hot Chinese food. When she leant that I was like a little lamb lost my way the violin world, she suggested that it might give me some inspiration by listening to the French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. ^That¨s the sound coming from soul ̄, she said.

Stephane Grappelli¨s performance opened a window to me, and through the window I a totally different music world. For pursuing my violin dream and carry, as well as searching my way of violin playing and my kind of violin music, I decided to go to Indiana University for my further study.

At exactly the same time, my business partner Mr Clow set forth his decision of retirement. He made hope clearly and concretely that I would inherit all shop and all tools, materials, instruments and costumers in the shop, and work independently. This was really a never-coming-twice opportunity to anybody. But my decision of going to the United States was made. Therefore I showed my appreciation but did not accept the proposal. Of course, no body in the world would understand my stupid action. Mr. Clow was so upset that he said ^you expect me to go on working until I hit God? ̄

Who could not be hesitant facing such a good man like Mr. Clow; and all the good things he was going to offer? But by my strong passion and strong support from my wife Marianne, we were busy preparing going to the United States. As soon as we received the letter from the Indiana University that they would allow my re-enter the school, we sold all our property, furniture, car, apartment, and Marianne resigned from her university job and said good bye to all her colleagues, friends and family.

Just at the time when we put all our property in our wallets and were checking the price of one way ticket to Indiana Naples from different travel agencies, I receive a letter from my family in China.

That letter, again, changed my life course.

To be dontinuoued


To avoid misunderstand, please allow to the explain that many Chinese violinists went to the west in the 80¨s were outstanding. Some of them were very successful in the world. But, most of the successful ones were not in Chinese original package, they were mostly re-educated in the western countries.

My former teacher Sheng Zhonghua too, after some years re-study, she later became a violin professor teaching at a known Norwegian music institution, until today.



畜 鷹(駅倬)
炎 籾(販吭)
坪 否(1000忖參坪夕頭哈喘鯉塀:[img]夕頭銭俊仇峽[/img])

    翌繁 Foreigner ┯薮塀 
    嚥弌宮斌閥^暢霧忽並 ̄ 
    憧咄ゞ幻徨肺〃14 a 
    哂猟 幻徨肺13 
    哂猟 幻徨肺12 
    Father Son & Violin (10) 
    Father Son & Violins (9) 
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    ゞ幻徨肺〃鎗^矢築議社 ̄夕 
    Father Son and Violin 3 
    Father Son and Violin 2 
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