What's the connection between a local Chinese school in the New Territories town of Sai Kung, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Bella Gaia?
When I first of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan I just didn’t want to believe the reports of its size, so I logged on to the BBC news site where I first saw the devastating footage of the tsunami. A week or so later I met with Sandy Lau of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and that was when the idea of a benefits concert for Japan came up and the connection with Bella Gaia.
We wanted to develop something that was for the longer-term, rather than something that was a one-off, and something that involved music and culture to start to develop community support for the victims. Teng Hoi has been running our own Music Talents Orchestra at my daughter’s school in Sai Kung (Sai Kung Central Lee Siu Yam Memorial School) and the university has its own orchestra, so we had something we could work with straight away.
Sandy ran with the idea and soon after Calvin Lee Kwan returned to Hong Kong so we could really start to move. We discussed inviting Kenji Williams back to the university only six short months since his first visit to once again perform Bella Gaia. Bella Gaia is the perfect performance for such an occasion, celebrating the earth in its beauty and the inter-connectedness of the world’s cultures whilst encouraging environmental sustainability. The devastating flooding of the tsunami, whilst unrelated to climate change, nevertheless brings home the awful power of the ocean to destroy. Teng Hoi is Cantonese for ‘listen to the sea’, so everything fitted together. A little over 6 weeks later, the concerts were performed.
Bella Gaia: preview