Ho Wai-On 何蕙安 aka Ann-Kay Lin

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Thought Bubbles! 有感

Updated 28 Oct  10月28日更新

"Western Classical music" in its broadest sense has long ceased to be a Western phenomenon but has become cosmopolitan ‒ has been performed, studied and practised in non-Western countries for a long time and in every continent. Nowadays, those who write about or perform works from Gregorian chant to contemporary Classical music can be of any nationality or race.  

所謂“西方古典音樂”久已不再只是西方而成為世界性,在歐洲、美洲、亞洲、大洋洲和非洲,很多國家已有很長的一段時間,在研習和演出“西方古典音樂”。如今,無論是演出或研究論述,從九世紀的格高利聖詠到各時期的西方古典音樂,包括當代型式的作品,演奏者、學者和作曲人,都可以是任何國籍和種族的人。

Thank you to Dirceu Braz, Brazilian composer/writer/trumpeter, for translating this into Portuguese:

A "música clássica ocidental" há muito deixou de ser um fenômeno ocidental, mas se tornou cosmopolita - tem sido executada, estudada e praticada em países não ocidentais por um longo tempo e em todos os continentes. Hoje em dia, quem escreve ou executa obras desde o canto gregoriano até a música clássica contemporânea pode ser de qualquer nacionalidade ou raça.

(繁)電視劇和網文:電視劇很多,觀眾亦多,上網亦已成為頗多人日常生活的一部分,但靠電視劇和網文来認識歷史、名著、和人物,會是片面的和甚至是似是而非的,不如看書。想看書,買本来看好過靠網络下載,因为網络的常見有错漏。

(简)电视剧和网文:电视剧很多,观众亦多,上网亦已成为頗多人日常生活的一部分,但靠电视剧和网文来认识历史、名著、和人物,会是片面的和什至是似是而非的,不如看书。想看书,买本来看好过靠网络下载,因为网络的常見有错漏。

The Internet has become part of many people's daily life and their source of knowledge. I have watched/read many Chinese TV dramas and web articles in Chinese. I feel that relying on TV dramas and web articles to understand history, classics, and people past and present, can often be one-sided and even specious. It's much better to read books. To read a (Chinese) book, it's better to buy a copy than to download it from the Net, as I often find Net versions with errors and omissions. The formatting can be tiring on the eyes.

Why don't they eat Pâté?

My creative work often combines music, dance, drama and visual arts. The work has no life until it is performed yet realization is expensive. Time/energy consuming funding applications may not be granted or part-granted, i.e., not enough to make ends meet. I often get a work/project done under near impossible conditions, and then move on to the next. Those who don't know many artists who have to work with next to nothing ask why didn't I do this and that (all requires lots of money). This reminds me of the story of a king on hearing of poor people dug up weeds to eat, said: “Why don't they eat pâté?”. Yet waiting for optimum time risks nothing happening at all.

何不食肉糜?

我的創作常融合音樂、舞蹈、戲劇和視覺藝術,一個創作沒有演出等於沒有生命,但多元創作的演出成本高,然而花費很多時間和精神去申請演出資助,很多時會不被批准或只批准部分资助,根本不夠錢,我經常在幾乎不可能的情況下演出一個創作,然後籌劃下一個創作的演出。那些不知道這行業艱辛的人會批評我為什麼不這樣那樣做,然而他們說的這樣那樣都需要很多錢才能做到的,這些不知艱辛的人如此批評,令我覺得一似被問“何不食肉糜?”。然而,等待到夠錢才去做最佳演出,很可能就等待到永遠了。



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人不如貓:

大陸有位貓狂母親有27隻貓,因為貓把家弄到糟髒亂,廚房很不衞生,兒子寧願出街買飯吃,是個兒子在她心中只有二十八份之一重要的母親,但她有福在生了個會找建築師來解決問題的兒子,在家中建了很好的“貓公寓”,讓貓和人互不打擾地舒適生活。這兒子了不起,建築師的精美設計亦值得致敬,很多在擠擁環境中生活的人,也未必會想到找建築師來設計改善環境,以去除人與人之間的矛盾呢。我也愛貓,但有次在住窄小屋子却養五只貓的夫婦家中吃飯,夫妻倆並沒有為人設想,要對着那些貓便盆來吃,真覺噁心!認識過位貓狂朋友,駕車總帶着兩隻愛貓,她在車後座應該是人盛腳的地方放着兩個貓便盆!搭過一次她的順風車,她兩隻愛貓坐前座,我和她的朋友是人坐車後座,除了其味無窮,真不知道把腳放到那裡去好,雖是穿了鞋,但總不想踏着貓盆內的東西!見網上凡是有貓的視頻,就算貓不靚和拍得不好,也是轉眼便有成百成千成萬的點擊數字,而人的藝術創作視頻,那怕是嘔心瀝血的作品,常常觀看的就只有小貓三四隻。

不尊重個人藝術創作的傳統:我十五歲才看《紅樓夢》,一百二十回的,讀完覺得有很多令我疑惑的地方,譬如明明是一本偉大的作品,却總有败筆和人物描寫和結構矛盾的地方,像一件本應是名貴美丽的衣服,卻加上些賤價難看又不配合的紐,和在不襯合的地方開個袋之類。多年後才知道《紅樓夢》原來有很多不同版本,便買了印制本《脂硯齋重評石頭記》,雖然是八十回和抄寫的水平不一,但我却看出味道來,發覺從前看的一百二十回本,不止後四十回接不上前八十回很多的伏線,而前八十回有些比《石頭記》修飾的文字亦使人物和情節走樣了。亦因此引發我看了一些紅學的著作,甚至看了一大堆相關和不相關的康熙、雍正御批奏褶。關於此書的作者和本來面目有太多的謎團,真是人人心中有本不同的《紅樓夢》。很可惜過往的朝代輕視小說,以致頗多個人著作被多人修改,甚至有所遺失的,我想元末和明、清的原汁原味小說真如鳳毛鱗角,連作者亦多有爭議是誰,形成了不尊重個人藝術創作的傳統呢。


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Life is full of surprises: My good friend the soprano Lisa Nolan, before she left London for Australia, entrusted me her husband Uli’s favourite plant – two separate stems of cactus in a pot. After a while one stem withered away and I felt bad. However, a new stem started to grow on the top of the remaining one. I was delighted - in a way, it’s still two stems but in a different arrangement (click image to enlarge).

生命有很多的意想不到:好朋友女高音麗莎諾蘭從倫敦搬回澳大利亞時,把丈夫心愛的仙人掌托附於我。這一盆有獨立兩莖的,其中一莖慢慢枯干了,我覺得很糟糕。後來一新莖在剩下的那莖的頂上冒出來,越長越壯,我很高興:它仍是两莖的,不同排列而矣。有時人生一方面的不順,在另一方面却似有保償呢(點擊圖片放大)。

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This was my early morning hasty translation of Love Lotus by Zhou DunYi of the Song Dynasty that I memorized when I was in middle school, as a reply to a LinkedIn contact's post on Lotus:

"There is a variety of lovely flowers in the world.

Tao Yuanming in the Jin Dynasty loved chrysanthemum only.

People love peonies since the Tang Dynasty,

But I love lotus as it is clean despite growing from mud.

It is not seductive despite bathing in clear water.

It's clear inside but outwardly straight with no vines or branches.

The farther, the cleaner the fragrance,

It's to be appreciated distantly and not touched erotically.

I say that the chrysanthemum is a hermit in flowers,

And peonies, the wealthy nobles

While the lotus is one with noble character.

It's rare to find someone who loves chrysanthemum like Tao,

And who would love lotus like me?

Yet almost everyone loves peonies!"

以上是一早起來見到英國"領英"友談及蓮,順手英譯中學時背過的周敦頤《愛蓮説》作答。

紅船好友今明攝影

Photo by Red-Boat boat-friend Jin Ming

(Red-Boat is a Cantonese opera website)

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NEW 新  When COVID first started at the end of last year, living in England, COVID seemed far away. Then from early this year, the UK has been listed amongst the top 10 COVID countries. People from all walks of lives have been badly affected, and not just health-wise, yet where I live most people still don't wear a mask. I have been in self-isolation to protect myself. Strangely I feel sort of peaceful yet also a sense of impermanence. However carefully one plans, the world is unpredictable.

當冠状病毒在去年底發生時,因我居住英國,疫症似乎是在遙遠的地方,但自今年初,英國一直躋身冠毒前十名國家之列,無論健康、行業和生活,人人都因此受到嚴重的影響,然而在我居住的小鎮,大多數人仍不戴口罩。我以自我隔離方式保護自己,很奇怪地内心感覺平安,但亦覺得世事無常,無論一個人多麼小心地籌劃,世界上太多的事情是無法預料的。


(繁)《陸游集》:偶然經過書局看到有本《陸游集》第三冊平賣便買了(不知因何只此一冊),單這一冊便有幾千首詩,也不知這《陸游集》究竟有多少冊,看來大詩人一生不停作詩,不覺感慨自己不夠努力,一個人除了對天份懷感恩之心,亦應努力發揮所能,不要做聖經比喻的懶惰僕人。

(简)《陆游集》:偶然经过過书局看到有本《陆游集》第三冊平卖便买了(不知因何只此一冊),单这一冊便有几千首詩,也不知这《陆游集》究竟有多少冊,看來大詩人一生不停作詩,不觉感慨自己不夠努力,一個人除了對天份怀感恩之心,亦应努力发挥所能,不要做圣经比喻的懶惰仆人。

At a bookstore I came across the third volume of poems by the prominent Southern Song Dynasty poet Lu You (1125-1210) and bought it (I don’t know why only this volume was available). There are thousands of poems in this volume alone. I wondered how many volumes there are? It seems that the great poet had been writing poems all his life. In comparison, I feel that I have not worked hard enough. I think apart from being grateful for one's gifts, one should try to give full play to one's abilities and not be the lazy servant of the biblical story.


The tradition of disrespect for personal artistic creation:

I first read Dream of the Red Chamber when I was fifteen the 120-chapter version. I felt puzzled after reading it as it is obviously a great work, yet there are bad writings here and there like an expensive and beautiful dress with cheap and ugly buttons and pockets that do not match. Years later I learned that there are different versions, so I bought a copy of the incomplete hand-copied manuscripts known as "Rouge versions (Story of the Stone)". Although it has only the first 80 chapters and the standard of the handwriting was uneven, I was hooked reading it. In the 120-chapter version I read when I was fifteen, not only did the last 40 chapters fail to meet many of the hints in the first 80 chapters, but also in the first 80 chapters, some characters description, plots and writings are inferior to the "Rouge versions (Story of the Stone)". The "Rouge versions" led me to read books of Redology the academic study and research of Dream of the Red Chamber. I even read Redology related materials such as the imperial commentaries of Emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng. There are too many mysteries about the author and the incomplete original. As we do not have the complete original, everyone can have a different Dream of the Red Chamber in their mind. It’s a pity that past dynasties looked down on novels. Many novels were revised, altered and with parts missing. The novels of the late Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, few can survive in their original, and scholars still argue about their authors.


People are less favoured than cats:

I saw on YouTube a video of a cat-crazy mother in mainland China who has 27 cats. The cats messed up the house and the kitchen's very unhygienic. Her son would rather go out to buy food and eat. The son only occupies 1/28 of her heart. Yet she is blessed to have a son who would find an architect to solve the problem ‒ to build a "cat apartment" at home, so that cats and people can live comfortably without disturbing each other. This son is amazing, so is the architect's exquisite design. Many people who live in a crowded environment may not think of looking for an architect to design and improve the environment to remove conflicts between people. I also love cats. Once I had a meal at a couple's who lived in a small place with five cats. The couple did not mind eating with their cats' litter trays nearby, but it was sort of disgusting for me! I have a cat-crazy friend who always drives with her two cats. She has two cat litter trays in the back ‒ where people should rest their feet! Once when giving me a lift, she had two cats sitting in the front seat. Her friend and I were sitting in the back. Apart from the smell, I really didn’t know where to put my feet. Although I wore shoes, I didn't want to put my feet on cat litter in the tray! There are many cat videos on the Internet, even if the cats are not beautiful or badly filmed, there are hundreds or thousands views. Yet videos of painstaking artistic creation, often are watched by few.