贴心姐妹网
 · 设为主页 | · 添加收藏 | · 会员注册 | · 会员登录    +
 
首页 | 社会政治 | 职场创业 | 情感关系 | 子女成长 | 多元生活 | 文化艺术 | 社区公益

拥抱我的香蕉人身份:一个作曲家寻找身份认同的历程

来源:贴心姐妹网   更新:2014-03-29 07:30:11   作者:冯伟君 贴心姐妹网
拥抱我的香蕉人身份:一个作曲家寻找身份认同的历程

图/Vivian Fung提供    Juno得主、作曲家冯伟君

Juno奖得主、作曲家冯伟君(Vivian Fung)是一个外黄内白的“香蕉”——父母是来自越南的华裔移民,她自己出生于加拿大埃德蒙顿。

她在一篇题为《拥抱我的香蕉人身份:一个作曲家寻找她的身份认同的历程》的文章中说:“和很多第二代华裔一样,我的身份认同问题包括了很多复杂的问题,并没有简单的解决方法。”

她在文章中说,她父母设法在一个白人占绝大多数的城市,向她介绍中国文化。八岁时,她父母送她去上中文课,但她只上了三堂课。因为,她认识的孩子中没有人需要学中文,再加上她学的第一个中国字是繁体字“貓”,挺复杂的一个字,尤其对一个不愿学中文的八岁孩子来说。

她在文章中说:“在成长的过程中,我最喜欢的作曲家大多数都是西方作曲家,包括斯特拉文斯基和贝多芬。我对中国音乐的认识只局限于我母亲唱给我听的歌,以及在我们的城市能找到的很少的一些唱片。那时,我们的城市还没有唐人街。”

在她攻读研究生的时候,一位专注于跨文化创作的来自中国的作曲家建议她学中国古琴和书法。她到哥伦比亚大学去上中文课,她还查阅了中国历史、诗歌和书法艺术等书,准备上这些方面的颗,结果她觉得内容多得无法消化。

后来,她爱上了印度尼西亚的爪哇和巴厘加麦兰音乐。她还获得去巴里厘旅行以及和当地艺术家合作的机会。

她说:“旅行为我提供了灵感,促使我考虑和拥抱我日常圈子之外的可能性。”

她爱上了东南亚:去了越南、印度尼西亚,还希望很快能去中国南部、老挝、泰国和柬埔寨。 

她说:“也许,我对这个地区的情有独钟,和我的父母在越南西贡堤岸度过了他们的童年有关。我父母慢慢地给我讲家庭故事,讲好的部分,也谨慎地讲悲剧的部分。不幸的是,这样的故事在移民家庭中很普遍,但这些故事深深触动了我,让我沉浸其中。”

后来,她在云南少数民族的音乐里找到了创作灵感,创作了云南民歌《云南民歌》Y(unnan Folk Song)。她在云南少数民族的音乐里找到了共鸣。

 “从我的不断发现自我和发展我的(独特)的声音过程时,我认识到:一个人的身份认同不可能,也不应该简单地被分类。身为华裔,很复杂。”她说:“身为加拿大华人,更复杂。我常常发现自己是一个旁观者:我可以聆听各种文化,并非完全参与其中。但从创作的角度来说,这个外者的视角有它的好处。我发现,当我挖掘不同文化传统,但又保持一定的距离时(看起来有些矛盾),我作为艺术家的创作状态最佳。我的创作呈开放状态,我寻觅那不易达到的艺术境界——一个艺术家自己的声音。”她在文章结尾说。

Embracing My Banana-ness: One Composer’s Journey Towards Finding Her Identity

By Vivian Fung

I am what is known in certain Asian circles as a banana: yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Yellow as a product of Chinese parents; white as a result of my being born in Canada to parents who immigrated to Canada before I was born. And as it is for many second-generation Asians, the question of my identity includes a complex web of issues that have no easy resolution.

My parents tried their best to introduce me to the subtleties of being Chinese in an overwhelmingly Caucasian city. When I was eight, they enrolled me in Sunday Chinese language courses run by the local church. Since no other kids that I knew of at the time had to do that, I quit after three lessons. It did not help that my first Chinese character was 貓 (“mao” or cat), quite complicated for anyone, but especially for a reluctant eight-year old. Growing up, my favorite composers were mostly Western, including Stravinsky and Beethoven. My knowledge of Chinese music was limited to the songs my mother sang to me and the few recordings that could be found in a city that, back then, had no Chinatown.

Being a composer has helped me accept the fact that I do not have to feel like I belong to any single cultural circle, but it was not always that way. In college, I was indoctrinated with Western musical concepts: counterpoint, four-part harmony, analysis of the Western canon, and similar courses that all (Western) composers normally take. I concentrated on perfecting the craft of Western composition, being a good student, and producing works that reflected my studies. It did not dawn on me even to think for a moment that there might be another dimension possible in my work—one that could make use of my “banana-ness”—at least not until I reached grad school.

What really shook things up for me was a fateful meeting with a composer from China whose work has centered on cross-cultural heritages. This composer invited me to his home, and after going through a few pleasantries, he spent the next three hours providing me with all the should-haves and could-haves of my skewed musical education. The school I chose was wrong for an Asian composer, he said. What is absolutely necessary for an Asian composer, especially a Chinese composer, is knowledge of your own heritage in addition to the Western heritage. I had to start over, he declared. Chinese court music, qin playing, is essential, he insisted. So is calligraphy—and for me, that was hard since I had given up after failing even to learn to write “mao.” Did I know anything about Chinese history? No. Confucian doctrine? Umm, no. The list grew longer as the evening went by. I left his house with my head spinning and my tail between my legs.

So I decided to start over, like he said. I was enrolled already in Mandarin Chinese courses at Columbia University, and had finally mastered the character mao and even writing my name in Chinese characters! I also checked out a stack of Chinese history, poetry, and art of calligraphy books and gave myself the semester to understand it all. Much to my dismay, Chinese history extends back several millennia—providing much more material than could be absorbed in a semester, or even a dozen semesters. By the third week, I felt that I was facing defeat. The volumes of information standing before me were overwhelming, and that knowledge was just not natural to me at all.

At the same time that I was trying to make up for an education largely devoid of Chinese study, I started listening to recordings of disparate genres of world music and quickly became entranced by Javanese and Balinese gamelan music. I loved the rhythmic propulsion of the music. I even joined the Javanese gamelan at the Indonesian Consulate for a couple of years, and am now a member of the Balinese gamelan group in NYC. I did not really understand it, but I was drawn to it. In 2004, I accepted a fellowship sponsored by the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance to travel to Bali and collaborate with American and Asian artists of all different backgrounds, including puppeteers, musicians, dancers, and actors. Of the musicians that participated, none used any music notation. That in itself was an eye-opening and ear-opening experience. I learned so much about what I did not know about music, and it was wonderful, like discovering a parallel universe filled with potential. I also learned somewhere along the way that becoming a scholar in Chinese traditional music, calligraphy, history, and poetry was not necessarily my only path.

Traveling has also provided great inspiration for me, challenging me to consider and embrace possibilities outside my normal milieu. I have grown especially fond of Southeast Asia: Vietnam and Indonesia so far, and hopefully southern China, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia in the near future. Perhaps my penchant for the music of this region has to do with the fact that both my parents spent their childhood in Vietnam, in the Chinese neighborhood of Saigon known as Cholon. My parents have slowly revealed my family history, the good parts and, more cautiously, the tragic parts. Their story is unfortunately not so unusual in immigrant families, but it really has touched a nerve and drawn me in.

I learn best when I am really passionate about the material or the subject matter. That was the case, for example, while I was composing my Yunnan Folk Songs (premiered this past March by Fulcrum Point New Music Project at Harris Theater in Chicago), which are based on source recordings of several minority nationalities of Yunnan province in southwestern China. I connected with the raw and uninhibited qualities of the singing on the recordings, often contrapuntally complex with as many as eight different parts in a song. Perhaps subconsciously, I also related to the fact that these minorities were just that: until recently, they were cultural footnotes in the gigantic Han Chinese world of the People’s Republic. I discovered that I could identify with their isolation and apartness, as well as the earthy way they expressed emotions in song.

If I have learned anything in my continuing journey towards knowing myself and developing my voice, it is that one’s identity cannot, and should not, be categorized into nice, neat boxes. Being Chinese is full of complexities, not the least of which is that, coming from a country that is over one billion strong, the collective Chinese experience cannot be boiled down to any simple list of must dos and don’ts. Being a Chinese-Canadian has even greater complications. I often see myself as a voyeur, seeing and listening to different cultures without being a full-fledged participant in any of them. But this outsider’s perspective has advantages from a creative standpoint. I have discovered that I can do my best as an artist by digging into the artistic traditions of many cultures while at the same time—as paradoxical as it may seem—distancing myself from them. My creative process opens up from there, seeking to find the elusive quality of art known as one’s own voice.

This article was originally published on 6/29/11 at New Music Box.


(感谢Vivian Fung授权转载此文。未经授权,请勿转载原文和中文翻译段落)


分享到: 更多
相关文章
[社会政治] 人口普查:移民和永久居民占比达到23%
[社会政治] 每年接收移民超过五万如同自杀:魁北克未来联盟党魁言论引起争议
[社会政治] 【专访】移民妈妈Carmen:“我的儿子是同性恋;我为他骄傲”
[社会政治] 多伦多数千民众周日游行支持被俄罗斯侵略的乌克兰 中港台移民在也游行
[社会政治] 纽芬兰和拉布拉多省的一教科书被谴责种族歧视
[社会政治] 【移民】作家李桂换:“我永远是李家园餐馆老板的女儿”
[职场创业] 魁北克省向移民专业人士提供带薪培训,以加快资历认证
[社会政治] 加拿大国家移民博物馆历史学者施温哈默:希望未来涵盖原住民以及更多族
[社会政治] 关慧贞获选为新民主党党团主席 继续房屋及移民评论员工作
[社会政治] 加拿大移民部的员工说,移民部工作场所内存在种族主义行为
发表评论
您必须登录后才能发表评论![立即登录] 还没有注册会员?[立即注册]  
 
会员登录
用户名:
密 码:
 
· 关于我们 About Us · 用户条约 Terms and Conditions · 隐私政策 Privacy Policy · 联系方式 Contact Us
版权声明:本网发布的内容版权归Lovingsister Media Inc. 所有,未经书面许可,严禁转载,违者将承担法律责任。
© 2013 Lovingsister Media Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.