HK Philharmonic 2015-2016 Season Opener with Tan Dun

Last night I attended the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s season opener, a concert consisting of mostly Tan Dun in person and in pieces. The program consisted of two of Tan Dun’s more recent works, Symphonic Poem on Three Notes and Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, and the classic Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in e minor, with 19-year-old Chinese prodigy Zeyu Victor Li on the violin. Tan Dun conducted the entire program.



SomethingALaMode: Endless Stairs

SomethingALaMode is an electric string duo from France, a pair with Classical sensibilities and a dance club beat. Their latest album, Endless Stairs, was released earlier this year as their second full album, following their mini-album 28.18 Moment and their self-titled debut. Named after its tenth track, the album has a pretty cohesive style that has grown more similar to a laid-back Madeon (another French DJ) than with previous albums – the songs in this album have more complex and thick textures woven together. However, the classic sound of electric strings are what set SALM apart from Madeon, and are what make SALM so unique.


Pac-Man Fever: the 80’s Arcade Obsession

The band Buckner & Garcia released a chart-topping record in 1982 called Pac-Man Fever. Re-released in 1992, the artists were unable to access their own recordings, so they recreated the album from scratch. The album is based on what was a rather uncommon topic at the time—electronic arcade games, the ancestors of the modern day videogame. The album not only introduced the topic into the music industry, but also showed how popular games became among children and adults. Here we will take a look at the original 1982 release and discuss its strengths and weaknesses in performance, audio quality and production, and content.


A Great Funking Record

Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s the Way of the World” was a top-charting record in 1975, just the way it should be. This double-sided LP has been reissued in 1999 as a CD due to the popularity and success of the group. Its production quality is spot on and the band’s performance is also very strong, possibly placing this record as their best album.