Xuefei Yang (above). Classical CD promotion for EMI, Westfield Shopping Centre
August 10th 2009
I hadn’t intended to write about this…. it’s not jazz….but I don’t think that musical experiences can come much more surreal, much closer to the existential void than this.
6.00pm Scheduled start time for recital by Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang -pictured on posters all around Westfield Shopping Centre naked behind a guitar. No fewer than seven industry people and four photographers in attendance.
6.14pm Dry Ice Machine gets switched on
6.15pm Important Eighth Industry Person arrives wheeling Important Black Flight case. “Yah. Hasn’t she started yet?”
6.22pm- 6.54 pm
1) Xuefei Yang plays mixture of recital pieces. Albeniz Leyenda with very punchy accented Flamenco downstrokes. “Fast time I play in smoke. Vey Inspational.” And later “My last piece is Recuerdos De La Alhambra by Tarrega. A challenge to play this piece in Shopping Mall. They say he wrote it for his lava. Maybe that is why it is so beautiful.”
2) Important Eighth Industry Person and seven others talk non-stop through music but applaud very loudly at the end of each number.
3) Photographers snap eagerly, both in front of the stage and on it, for first ten minutes.
4) A few shoppers drift past bemused.
6.55pm Xuefei Yang comes off the stage, and is obliged to kiss all eight industry people on both cheeks, and head straight off with record company PR person to a CD signing elsewhere in the centre.
6.56 pm Important Industry Person disappears, wheeling Important Black Flight Case off to next Important Appointment. Exeunt omnes.
Well, that is our next album cover sorted.
I'll get the photographer onto it.
Except Robin won't be hiding behind his guitar…
Two comments on this piece by email
A LondonJazz reader in N8:
Wot canisay? May inauspicious things happen to people who talk (and more) through concerts.
And a reader in E17
Now that I wish I'd seen! Sounds absolutely hilarious!
Hahahahahaha! that is BRILLIANT! And I agree with Anna — That's the next CD cover sorted! Although, hang on … it doesn't sound like it was very effective!
I have been unable to find any such poster.