Beijing General University

Forbidden City

Continuing on from yesterdays decidedly Chinese theme I thought I might pass comment on Jean Michel Jarre’s latest sound and light spectacular in Beijing’s Forbidden City last Sunday. Obviously I wasn’t actually there but managed to get hold of a recording of the show via BitTorrent. The very fact that it was held in the location it was is pretty astounding considering its historical significance (Tiananmen Square is right next to it) but it was pulled off amazingly well.

Beijing Concert

Along with the trademark lasers, images and colours were projected onto huge inflated white cylinders, cones and spheres over the area which changed in time with the music. Most of the music was from his latest album ‘Aero’ (which I reviewed here) and thus was presented in surround sound live (quite a feat of technical ingenuity)!

Beijing Concert

The concert also featured the Beijing Symphonic Orchestra and a collaboration with soloist Cheng Lin who played her erhu (a traditional Chinese stringed instrument). More than 15,000 people turned out to watch the event and even more via a live TV broadcast.

Beijing Concert

If you get a chance it’s definitely worth a watch, whether for the amazing electronic music or the beautifully choreographed display.

On a slightly different, but still very oriental note I had my second Japanese lesson today. Again it went very well although I think I’m going to have to put quite a bit of work into learning Hiragana which is a totally new experience for me (as with the rest of it!). Today we learned more introductory stuff and basic numbers which annoyingly have different forms depending on what context you use them in!


In case you’ve ever wondered (!) the above is my name (David) in Chinese as written by Echo-san during the class – it makes my head ache just imagining how you go about translating it although it does look a lot cooler than the romanised version!


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

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