One of the reasons I love living and working in Shanghai so much is that I get a lot of exposure to the music cultures of Korea and Japan in addition to China's. An artist who will be giving a concert here tomorrow night is Lisa Ono, who is Brazilian-Japanese, doing bossa style songs. I love her soft, sweet and earthy vocal tone. Some students have also introduced me to a Japanese pop artist, Arashi, and some have even been to his concert. For a sample, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w-bayxMZyw
One girl gets a smirk on her face and turns red every time I mention Arashi as he is apparently her idol. I have to admit my fondness for a violin orchestra is definitely rekindled seeing this video. I love other string instruments but a backup band of 20 or so violins does really amazing things texturally, not to mention how visually appealing it is to watch the hands and bow strokes in complete and utter unison. I have to applaud the videographer and choreography of the piece as well. What really gets me though is the crazy middle section of keyboard, percussion and electric guitar. I am a huge fan of multi-layer performance arts, especially involving traditional string instruments in non-traditional ways.