Soochow University|Venturing out to Taiwan to realize the dream of music

Soochow University
Li Zhixuan
Hong Kong

Name: Li Zhixuan From: Hong Kong Graduate From: Soochow University Position: -/Music producer, film scorer, sound designer
Venturing out to Taiwan seven years ago to realize the dream of music

Venturing out to Taiwan seven years ago to realize the dream of music
I remember that when I decided to come to Taiwan to study at university, I didn’t think too much about it. I just thought that Taiwan’s music was well developed, and I hoped that I could live on my own with the same feeling I had when studying abroad previously. My biggest impression of that time was that the day before I was to board my plane for Taiwan, I was still extremely busy working in Hong Kong as a director for a musical. When I boarded the plane the next day, my mind was still blank, and I was totally unaware of whether or not I really wanted to leave. Maybe this is youth…not thinking too much—just do it first then talk about it later.

 

First steps on the road to music
I studied in the Dept. of Music, majoring in cello. I thought that when I arrived in Taiwan, my life wouldn’t be much different, so I just kept playing music. However, I found out that I was wrong. I did not expect Taiwan’s education system to be so different from Hong Kong’s. Therefore, I differed in terms of musical concepts with those of my teachers and classmates. This was a blow that I now recognize as the so-called “culture shock”. In addition, the work and personal connections that I had when I was in Hong Kong were wiped out in an instant. How would I give up the glory days of my past, lay down my past profile, and silently re-accumulate those elements? This was another psychological challenge I didn’t consider.

 

Surrendering yourself completely before you can start again
One of the differences in music with other pursuits is that I will always continuously lose confidence in the cello. You can imagine the instrument as a partner with whom I used to spend at least 6 hours per day practicing. But nowadays, it feels like being alienated from someone who now lives downstairs from me, even starting to elicit feelings of disgust. This should have been the lowest point on my musical journey, and the accumulated negative energies made me decide to look for an outlet instead of continuing to be complacent. I decided to transform the discrepancies and emotions I felt into a language I was familiar with: music. Passion shifts to creating music, composing what I want and feel into music. And since I never received composition training in the orthodox style, I decided to start anew at university and not merely “practice”.

 

Hello everyone! I am a musician from Hong Kong…
After graduation, in order to make a living, I went through a period of trying different jobs—from security guard, billiard coach, engineer, to funerary musician. I am very grateful for who I was at that time and have never forgotten that what I want to do most is create music. In the end, I took advantage of my different background from Hong Kong to stand out and create music that is unique. I have transformed the cultural differences that I originally felt as criticism to what I now see as differences, and then from differences to distinguishing features. I am now a full-time musician, mainly engaged in soundtrack work. I have done everything from animation and commercials, to film soundtracks. I have also produced soundtracks for international events like the Universiade. I believe that as long as we have a firm belief, whether we find ourselves in our hometown or in a different place, or in a completely different culture, as long as these differences and frustrations are transformed into strength, we will always shine.

First steps on the road to music
Surrendering yourself completely before you can start again

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