Sound Bites

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 February, 2008, 12:00am

You recently reinterpreted songs made famous by Shanghainese singer Zhou Xuan in the 1940s. What's the idea behind this project?

Musical and cabaret singer Rebecca Pan Di-hua:

'Music culture, like arts, is a reflection of society. The 40s Shanghai pop music represents an era. Unfortunately, the music stopped progressing in the next 30 years when the mainland became a closed society. The sound of that era is almost lost.

'These days, popular music on the mainland lacks foundation. It's not unique and is influenced too much by the western music culture.

'I decided to rearrange some of Zhou Xuan's songs, to make them sound more contemporary and introduce her to the younger generation. I want to let them know that we Chinese have penned some fine tunes too. And I hope what I've done can inspire young people.

'It may be too difficult for young people to understand [intangible] cultural heritage such as old Shanghai music. I think we could simplify the form before presenting it to them.

'It's always been my aspiration to promote original Chinese music to the western music world. With the strength of China right now, we may have a chance to achieve that. I hope this can happen one day.'