Thursday, August 16, 2012

Qingdao Art Deco

This morning I spoke at a music conference, arranged alongside the Qingdao InterCity Music Festival. It was kind of about the Chinese music industry, with a couple of Chinese speakers; but they also wanted an international perspective so invited an American band manager, a guy from the Finnish Music Export Agency and, er, me. I was coming anyway and I think they were a bit desperate! So I talked about music and cultural relations and the music activities we've been running in China and my (amateur) perspective on the Chinese music scene. It was interesting actually, and we all hit it off.

In the afternoon my colleague Shengnan and I slipped out to pay a call on the affable Mr Hao Qi, Director of Qingdao Art Museum which had shown our Olympic Posters exhibition earlier this summer. Lovely somewhat sleepy place, situated in the leafy ex-colonial quarter, with an odd mixture of 1930s art-deco main building and temple-like outbuildings. 

Back to the music guys, a dinner... and then a bunch of us - Jani (the Finn), John (the American), Philipp (a Beijing-based German promoter), Helen (from the band Nova Heart), Peggy (from Live Nation) and Lawrence (from Pilot Music) - ended up in a Japanese hostess bar... but it was innocent enough, we just drank beer (Tsingtao, what else?) and talked, amongst other things about Krautrock. The German-Japanese theme was somehow fitting, given those two countries' links to (OK, occupations of) the city 100 years ago. 

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