How did you first get into music? My father was one of the first scholars to go abroad after the Cultural Revolution. He went to Australia in 1982 and brought back a bunch of music. There was this one mix tape that another professor had given him with the Beatles, Rod Stewart and stuff like that. At the time, there was so little music available beyond revolutionary marches and some folk music. My dad had to go to Hong Kong to get a cassette player so we could play the tape. When I told my mum I wanted to play guitar, she bought me one - for 30 yuan. You played music throughout your schooling? In high school, a friend and I played guitars and sang - we won three straight school-wide competitions. In university, me and four other guys - who all played guitar - played a whole bunch of covers: One-Way Ticket, Sailing, that kind of stuff. When we played, people went crazy! We'd say 'Do you want to hear more?' They'd scream 'Yes!', so we kept playing. So you were constantly involved in music? After university I got a job translating Hollywood film scripts and promotional materials for the China Cinema Cultural Exchange Centre. In order to get their films shown in China, people had to send us their materials. I saw and read the scripts of all of the biggest movies. I still have tons of videos. So how did you go from film back to music? I played around with all kinds of synthesizers and equipment. Whenever I came across a problem, I'd go to where I bought the gear - the Midi Hi-Tech Centre - to ask the people for help. In 1993, the centre was only registered to teach people who bought its equipment. The guy who ran it offered me a job because he knew that I came from a musical background and also was able to work the new technology. He wanted to expand their courses and said, 'If you become our director, you can play anything in the store whenever you want'. [A month later] I called him up and [accepted his offer]. How easy was it to get things started up? For the first two years, we were constantly translating material. There was no such thing as musical transcription and no real modern musical education at the time, just some unprofessional schools. We had no way of printing the notes and measures, so I spent months cutting and pasting Chinese translations on top of the original English books and photocopying them. Presumably you're not pirating textbooks any more... I was pirating, but it was for a good cause. We'd only distribute the books to students. Now we have deals with publishers - and with the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE [Australia]. We still use a lot of photocopies, but it's just for in-school use. Do most students continue in music after they graduate? Right now, about 40 per cent of graduates continue playing music. In September we're starting courses in production, the music industry and copyrights, so perhaps that number will rise. We started with 134 students in a three-month programme. Now we have 300 two-year students.