Open the door to music

A colleague of Prof. Romero at CU introduced me to a music professor here at Kunming, who in turn pointed me to a retired local official with a lot of experience in Lisu culture. The contact came in handy as I’m just about to start the interviewing process, even though he won’t be available for another week or so.

I almost wished the weather is not so great all the times. I like shots of bad weathers.

Ah-Che was waiting for me at home, the wife and three little ones were getting ready to head to the market at the sister’s village. He took the performance seriously, dressed up in traditional ware and combed his hair nicely.

We set the shot up by the window. The bamboo house has such contrasts and light fills it’s not hard to make it look pretty. To get a clean sound though is another matter, the chicken, the pigs, the occasional car horns from the road amplified by the mountains.

We started with a few dance music, then moved on to two tunes Ah-Che composed based on his observation of birds singing and jumping between trees. Those two are the ones I like the best. After each song, I noted down as much as he could give out. It’s a pity we could only converse at the very basic level. I made him did them a few more times, and we ended in some more dance music, this time circular dance instead of the line dance we started with. I hate to tire him out, but I do need some more close up shots to smooth out the transition. Now I don’t feel I have as much time as I wanted already.

When taking rest, Ah-Che talked a lot more, which gave me more questions to ask in a couple of days when my translator showed up.

The crew came back with the little ones in new dresses and looking ecstatic. They insisted me staying for dinner. Afterwards, I took the same van down the mountain with Ah-Che and all his brothers. They needed to make a visit to an aunt in another village who just fell ill.

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