Recently viewed / listened (Jan 2013)


Derek Bailey. Improvisation – Its Nature and Practice in Music

– lots of good insight on improvisation in all different context (Indian music, Flamenco, New Music / Experimental Music / Baroque Music / Organ Improv / Jazz / Pop-rock), the problematic relationship between composer and performer, and why jazz becomes more and more conventional and lacks the creativity it once had.

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這幾年沒想到反而一隻腳踏進了電子音樂的範疇。最初接觸電子音樂,是沿於中大時候盧博士的啟蒙。之後一直自己探索MIDI和錄音的東西。最初目的只為了製作demo,猶其是一些不需要樂譜的編曲工作,短片配樂,或者有時候有些學校音樂劇表演,沒有管弦樂團伴奏的話,就只能用電腦製作的demo。那時候主要關注的是怎樣用 VST 樂器用得真實。現在的虛擬樂器越來越真,但也越來越「大食」,佔據大量硬碟空間。而要把假的樂器聽起來真實,即使是依靠電子琴彈進去,有時候要花很多時間逐粒音去調整音量等等,極費工夫。

雖然人會演奏錯音,會有走音問題而電腦不會。若果能找到真人演奏的話,始終是真實的好得多。因此就開始鑽研錄音到混音的技術,也經常幫朋友的音樂會作簡單的錄音。而教 IVE 的那一年,基本上把大多數 DAW 的軟件都用過了,當時教 Logic Pro 根本是現炒現賣,只上了三天的課,但有 Pro Tools / DP 的基礎,Logic Pro 其實很方便也頗容易學。那一年從同事身上學到不少音響上的東西,但也更知道,音響是一門獨立的學問,若非不停實習,是不可能有能力去做錄音師的。但這些卻幫助了自己作曲編曲很多。古典音樂的作曲方法限於寫樂譜,電子音樂的好處就是可以跳過寫樂譜的步驟,想到甚麼,就在琴上即興,現在錄下來已經是一首曲,其實已不一定要經過樂譜一環。

來到英國這邊,畢竟大學是比較學術的地方。有專門做環迴立體聲的錄音室(一個完全沒有 mixer 的錄音),一個同樣可以做環迴立體聲的 Auditorium。單單在這方面,已經很多東西可以鑽研。也從新拾起 Max/MSP,雖然比較複雜的程式碼和需要大量計算的東西還是有點困難,但基本上引用別人已有的成果,做略加自己的心思,已經可以做很多事,包括視像和音樂的互動,環迴立體聲的 automation。也花了很多時間去嘗試 Logic Mainstage 和 Ableton Live,嘗試怎樣現場為樂器加上電子音效,實在好玩。下星期四和幾位朋友搞一個音樂會,環迴立體聲加上現場音效,已經好多野要預備。真是無心插柳反成蔭,電子音樂反而成了我的專長。

說電子音樂是一種類型,其實電子音樂豈止一類?很多人都搞電子音樂,各有專長,風格也差天共地。可以像 Stockhausen 那樣前衛,也可以是 DJ 那樣摔碟,可以是 Death metal 震耳欲聾,可以是 ambient 的音樂,舒緩放鬆。可以是自然的聲響,讓人感受環境的空間感,留意身邊的聲音。(待續)

Alphabet Songs

I wish I’d started learning different languages at an earlier age. Now I feel I’m too old to memorize any new vocabularies or grammatical rules. My tongue and lips aren’t well trained enough to pronounce any sound foreign to my mother tongue. (I simply can’t pronounce the Italian “r” or German “r”!). I admire anyone who can be fluent in many languages like this guy: BBC: The cult of hyperpolyglot

I guess I can never master more than two languages in my life. Nonetheless, I’m interested in how people introduce their own languages these days and watched a lot of cheesy alphabet songs. It seems alphabet songs are common in some countries but not all.

The most common English alphabet song is Twinkle, twinkle little star. However, quite a number of songs are used in other European countries. The same set of Latin alphabets sound so different in European languages, not to mention words like “euro” that is pronounced quite differently across the EU countries.
Alfabeto Español
Italian alphabet song
Portugese (Brazilian) alphabet song
L’alphabet en Français

German uses the tune “Frère Jacques” for alphabet song. This song is so commonly known for a long time that even Mahler uses it in his first symphony:
Das deutsche Alphabet

I only got to know some of the Greek alphabets from maths or physics lessons, but I can’t yet spell all the alphabets – what a shame!

I wonder if any Greek and Cyprus children are learning their alphabet from this song though:
Greek Alphabet Rock

Russian alphabets in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Cyrillic script looks a bit similar to Greek script to me.
Песня алфавита (with Japanese subtitle)

Arabic is hard in a way that alphabets linked together in a word, and the same alphabet looks a bit different at the beginning, middle or the end. A lot of alphabets look so similar except the placement of the dot(s). Arabic pronunciation is quite hard in a way that it contains a lot of throat sounds that are uncommon in other languages.
Arabic alphabet song

Persian and Urdu alphabets are similar to Arabic due to Islamic influence.
Person alphabet song
Urdu alphabet song

Uighur, a Turkish tribe lives in Xinjiang of Northwest China, with a language is similar to Turkish, but they used a script similar to Arabic, while Turkish is written in a script similar to Latin languages.
Uighur alphabet song
Turkish alphabet song

There are so many languages in South Asia that I find it intriguing. Here are some of them:
Hindi alphabet song
Bengali alphabet song
Tamil alphabet song

Tibetan who lived in China-occupied Tibet has to learn both Tibetan and Mandarin Chinese. While most Tibetan who lived in India would learn Tibetan, Hindi and English. Tibetan script looks similar to Hindi, although Tibetan language and Chinese are often regarded as the same language family.

Tibetan Alphabet Song

Although Japanese and Korean both borrowed a lot of Chinese words in ancient time, but actually they are from a different language family that the grammar is totally different. Some linguistic experts think that Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Manchurian, Turkish are from the same Altaic language family, sharing the same sentence structure and grammatical rules. A lot of nomadic tribes migrated from East Asia to Central Asia and Eastern Europe; probably that’s the reason why these languages are related.

Both Japanese and Korean invented their own alphabets at a later time, and thus their alphabets seems quite organized and logical. The 51 alphabets in Japanese are arranged in rows with different consonants, with each rows contains alphabets with the five different vowels a, i, u, e, o. Japanese pronunciation seems relatively simpler than a lot of languages and not too far from Latin too, which makes learning Japanese pronunciation much easier than Chinese for Europeans.

日本語 Japanese alphabet song (Youtube)

Korean alphabets are also well-organized and logical, in a way that a set of symbols are used for vowels and consonants are grouped into a few types of symbols. I can’t find any alphabet song yet, but here is a good explanation of its alphabets:
Korean Alphabets 한글 (Youtube)

Mongolian is complicated in a way that there are two different scripts. Cyrillic alphabets are used in Mongolia because of Russian influence, while the traditional alphabets are used in Inner Mongolian province in China. However, Mongolian people in China are required to learn Mandarin Chinese, and one would find Mongolian text alongside with Chinese in Inner Mongolian province. I can’t find an alphabet song with subtitles, but here are samples of Mongolian Cyrillic and traditional script. Traditional script are written from top to bottom.

Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabets
Mongolian traditional script

There is no such thing as “alphabet” in Chinese. That’s why Chinese is probably the hardest language to write. But the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese is relatively simple if one has mastered the phonetics. All the “Chinese alphabet songs” on youtube are actually songs of phonetics, and they are not commonly known at all.

This is a Mandarin Pinyin (romanization) song:
Chinese (Mandarin) Alphabet Song

I can’t find any Cantonese phonetics song, but here is a very good introduction to the pronounciation:
Cantonese Initials
Cantonese finals
Cantonese tones

Chinese children usually start learning how to write characters with the numbers 一, 二, 三, 四. And they learn how to calculate multiples by a memorizing this table called 九因歌 (The Song of 9×9 Multiples):

The Song of Multiplications (in Cantonese)

That’s all so far. Sorry that there are still a lot of languages I haven’t covered here yet, e.g. Scandinavian and a lot of Eastern european languages. I’ll update it later. Thanks for reading!

p.s. a lot of people has asked me the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin. I guess I’d better write it as an FAQ so that I don’t need to answer this question again.

1. Cantonese is only used by around 10% or less of Chinese people who live in Guangdong province near the City of Gunagzhou, Hong Kong, Macau and part of Guangxi province. However, a lot of Cantonese people migrated overseas earlier than other parts of China. That’s why Cantonese is still often heard within overseas Chinese communities.
Mandarin is used by the majority in Mainland China and Taiwan, with minor differences in pronunciation though. In Taiwan, Min-nan (or Taiwanese Hokkien) is also an official language, alongside with Hakka and Formosan languages of aboriginal tribes.

2. Cantonese has nine tones. (Some scholars regarded it as six tones plus three tones with stopping consonants.) Mandarin only has four.

3. Cantonese’s pronunciation is much closer to classic Chinese in Tang and Song dynasty. “Entering tone” (words which stop with a consonant) is preserved in Cantonese and some other dialects, but not in Mandarin, which has been much affected by northern tribes such as Mongolian and Manchurian (that’s probably why it’s called Mandarin).

4. Cantonese and Mandarin are almost incomprehensible to each other. I would say the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is much bigger than the difference between Portugese and Spanish.
5. We share the same written language, with minor discrepancies and usage of words. Mainland China uses simplified Chinese character which is a new invention by the communist party since the 1950s, while the traditional character is still used in Taiwan, Hong Kong & Macau.

Hong Kong Sound Map

This is a collection of sounds in Hong Kong. Just like photos and videos, soundscape can evoke our memories of a city. At the moment, the project is still in a preliminary stage. The goal of this project is to create a platform that everyone can contributes to the sound map, and share any sounds they found interesting as creative commons or public domain. If you are interested in this project or if you have any sound recordings of Hong Kong you would like to share, please leave me a message. I hope we can take this project further.

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十二月尾,無雪無霜,陽光普照,往 Yorkshire sculpture park 走了一趙。最有趣的是 Jaume Plensa 的透明頭像,有如復活節島上的雕塑,很漂亮。還有這一個 See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,不就是招財貓,或者三隻猴子嗎?(見ざる, 聞かざる, 言わざる。非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮勿言。)到底是甚麼令到一個人不敢去看、不敢去聽,或者不敢說話呢?雕塑家 Jaume Plensa 把這句子完本的意思改變了,蒙著眼睛、耳朶、嘴巴上的字是 panic, stress, anxiety, insomnia, hysteria and amnesia。想起友人給我的猴子御守,日光東照宮的護身符,就是個掩著嘴巴的猴子,厄運去除,學業成就。這格言源出於儒家,日本把它變成了三隻猴子的寓言,這句格言也流傳到西方,但意義卻也改變了。

不看、不聽、不說話的猴子怎麼變成了守護神呢?網上資料說:那三隻猴子是日本某大名的智囊,要他們進言,他們途中遇上邪靈,他們知道邪惡有很強的感染力,怕自己會被傳染,進言時也會變得邪惡,於是一個不看,一個不聽,一個看到了、聽到了就掩嘴不說話,於是邪惡並沒有感染到人們。另一種說法是,三尸是天神派來的賞善罰惡使者(三尸腦神丹?),偵察凡間每一個人的惡行再報告天庭,天神就會按照一個人的行為決定他的壽數云云,是以若果猴子不見、不聞、不言,則是上上大吉。是以猴子是帶來好運的意思。但另一種說法是,猴子是用來告誡人不要八卦,少講是非則少惹禍。(don’t be snoopy, don’t be nosy, don’t be gossipy) 。亦有一說謂,人心有如空碗,盛載了甚麼就會變成甚麼(you are what you see/ what you hear),例如港人大陸人本質並無大分別,性相近,習相遠,橘越淮則為枳。所以掩眼掩耳掩口,是象無慾則剛,心淨則安。


Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich nicht protestiert; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen;ich war ja kein Jude.
Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.


如此說來,三隻猴子實乃「各家自掃門前雪」之表表者,吾輩又豈能奉之為格言?孔子說:「非禮勿視」,但應該問的是,為何以不是非「仁」勿視,又或者「義、忠、信、道、德」,而是禮?當這句話傳到日本,變成三隻猴子時,意義已經變了很多,翻譯成英文,evil 和中文的非禮更是相差甚遠。其實本應有第四隻猴子,非禮勿動(do no evil)。只是大家都把它忘記了。其實第四隻猴子才是最重要的。壞的事根本不應去做,而不只是不看、不聽、不說。一個小的毛病,若大家都隱忍不說,就會變成大的災難,例如福島核電廠洩漏輻射。

在網上一查,Wayne shorter 有首曲叫 speak no evil,土耳其有齣電影叫 Three Monkeys,亦用了這個主題去發揮。土耳其電影實在精采,把這個主題刻劃得入木三分,劇中一家人正正是看見了邪惡,卻不敢說,最後變成越來越大的悲劇。

Notation of Erhu

During the twentieth century, various modern Chinese orchestra are formed based on the idea of western orchestra. The earlier attempts are following the Soviet/Russian style, especially the harmony and styles of romantic period composers such as Tchaikovsky and later composers like Shostakovich. And thus

But during the 1970s and 80s, composers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China started to search for contemporary music in the west and extended techniques and experimental styles for these instruments. This is often regarded as the “New Waves” of Chinese composers. At the same time, globalization. Quite a number of European and United States composers start to write for Chinese instruments too.

Traditional Chinese ensemble like the “silk and bamboo music” usually play a tune with different embellishment (heterophony).

1. Huqin (胡琴), the family of chinese bowed-string instrument.

Erhu (二胡) –

Gaohu (高胡) – Cantonese opera (粵劇) and Cantonese traditional ensembles (廣東音樂). It is now also used as the higher pitch alternatives to Erhu, but the tone color is quite unique. Traditionally, it is held between two legs, and because the bridge is stopped by the legs, it gives a nasal tone quality. The tuning of the inner string is G and the outer string is D

Jinhu (京胡) – Beijing opera (京劇) – bamboo resonator, loud and higher pitch.

Zhonghu (中胡) – a middle-range erhu, larger in size and lower in register.

Gehu (革胡) – this is an attempt to create a cello in Chinese orchestra. The shape looks different, but tuning and the performing technique of Gehu is essentially the same as the cello. It doesn’t give a full tone color as cello

Bass Gehu (低音革胡) – similar to Gehu, it is just a replica of double bass.

2. Range and characteristics:

3. Special techniques:

Different styles of vibrato – by rocking the fingers, by pressing the strings harder because there is no fingerboard. Larger range vibrato can be done by sliding back and forth.

Glissando/portamento – linking up two notes, especially when moving from one position to another. Additive fingerings

Tremolo –

Jéte –

Staccato –

Accents within a long note –

Grace notes, mordent and other ornamentations –

Trill / Fingered-tremolo –

Pizzicato and left-hand pizzicato – dry and short, thinner than other pluck-string instrument like pipa. But it is still sometimes employed in music . Not possible on the outer string.

Harmonics –

Tuning –
4. Simplifed Notation (Numbered notation)

Before the simplified notation, Gongche notation (工尺譜), which is still in used in Cantonese opera and some regional instrumental music. The dots next to the words indicate the beats. The cross indicates the strong beats. Rhythm within the beat is flexible and allow the performer to interpret.

Isn’t difficult at all

Advantages – avoid the need of transposing for some instruments.
good for some instruments like dizi (chinese flute) that plays

Flexible in some way –

5. Computer programmes – using Microsoft Word with fonts like ….

Attempts to have both five-line staff and simplified notation has been difficult. Draw lines in Sibelius and Finale – but it is difficult to align everything and fix their positions.

Notable traditional Erhu music

6. Composed Erhu music by modern composers

7. References


胡登跳 《民族管弦樂法》。上海:上海文藝出版社,1982。
Hu, Dengtiao. Minzu Guanxianyue Fa (Orchestration of Traditional Orchestra). Shanghai: Shanghai Wenyi Chubanshe, 1982.

This is a good book on instrumentation and “orchestration” of chinese instrument, with details about ranges, special instrumental techniques, traditional ensemble styles and “orchestration” in the modern chinese orchestra that is based on four different families of chinese instruments: bowed strings, plucked strings, woodwind and percussions.

Xi, Qiang and China Central Folk Orchestra. Chinese Music and Musical Instrument. Shanghai: Betterlink Pr Inc, 2011.


1. Chinese Music for All Seasons – A Novice Guide to the Chinese Orchestra. Singapore: Singapore Chinese Orchestra, 2006.

    Music by Phoon Yew Tien (潘耀田); Singapore Chinese Orchestra conducted by Tsung Yeh.
    In this wonderful CD guide, instruments in the Chinese orchestra is illustrated in the way like Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to Orchestra with explanations in both English and Chinese and a detailed booklet about the range and characteristics of each instrument in the Chinese orchestra.

2. Instrumental Guide to the Chinese Orchestra. Hugo Productions. HRP-766-2.
Music by Guan Nai-chung. Gaohung Chinese Orchestra conducted by Guan Nai-chung.
Another wonderful guide to chinese instruments.

3. Shen, Sin-yan. Chinese Music and Orchestration: a Primer on Principles and Practice. Chicago: Chinese Music Society of North America, 1991.


紀錄片History of Christianity

看了 BBC 六個小時的紀錄片 History of Christianity ,很精采,相信無論是否教徒都能學到很多東西。Oxford 的教授 Diarmaid MacCulloch 娓娓道來,從一開始猶太教到基督教的成立開始講起,早期中東、埃及的教會,唐朝時傳到中國的景教,中世紀的教會分裂,東正教的發展,馬丁路德和其它人的宗教改革,直至今天在全教化下的亞洲、非洲和拉丁美洲的教會。

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(這齣電影雖然是荷李活片,導演 Alejandro González Iñárritu 是墨西哥人。他另外有齣電影 Amores perros (中譯狗男女之戀) 也是把拍得非常妙。Babel 裏的墨西哥男配角 Gael García Bernal 就是 Motorcycle Diaries 裏面演少年哲古華拉的。而演日本啞巴女孩的演員菊地凛子將會演《挪威的森林》裏的直子。)





以前看過的電影之中,《慕尼黑》和 John Adams 的 Death of Klinghoffer 也是關於挾持人質的。總以為這些是很遙遠的事,不會發生在香港人身上。因此當今次這件事發生的時候,香港人會覺得極度震驚。我想因為大多數人都有參加旅行團的經歷,總坐過旅遊巴,還要看到電視現場直播,發現原來綁架槍殺有機會發生在自已身上,所以感到極為可怕。



Scenes from a Marriage / Saraband

近來所看最深刻的是 Bergman 的電影。Autumn Sonata, Scenes from a Marriage 和 Saraband ,真實得讓人心裏發抖。都是些關於婚姻,家庭,人與人的關係的故事。他的電影總是逼使觀眾不得不審視反省自已和身邊人的關係。Autumn Sonata 說的是女兒和母親的那種愛恨交纏的關係。”When can we stop being mother and daughter?”那一句話真是讓人愀心。很多家庭都不是那樣輕鬆自在的,誰是自己的母親,是本來如此無法選擇的,但母親為何總是要扮演母親的角色,希望管制子女,又希望子女親近自己,不希望他們長大離開;而子女又為何總是扮演子女的角色,一方面很想得到父母的注意和關心,一方面很想擺脫上一輩的陰影,卻又發現自己的性格缺憾竟然和父母沒有兩樣。

「多少錯誤都是以愛的名義進行」,有時父母的愛會愛得令人窒息,有時對子女的過份期望,令子女覺得自己一生都無法長大。卻原來父母的心靈其實可能比小孩還要脆弱,大人只不過是年長了,卻一樣的不懂面對自我,一樣很怕失去了孩子的愛戴。想想當老師也有點相似,其實學生可能知道可能不知道,老師和他們一樣迷茫徬徨,一樣有煩惱有私欲有愛恨有不成熟之處。而老師總是難免會喜歡乖巧勤奮的學生,有幾多老師能夠真正愛一些不聽話的學生?那種既愛又恨讓人看得心裏愀緊。Autumn Sonata 飾演母親的 Ingrid Bergman 年輕時是個美人,荷李活片 Casablanca 裏她也是女主角,但這一齣戲裏年邁的她演技實在深刻得多。

古典音樂是高尚是陶冶性情的吧?是用來溝通感情的工具?可是在 Bergman 的電影裏,古典音樂的出現總是一種可悲的情景,Saraband 裏父親逼女兒苦練,而且只希望她在自己身邊學習,令女兒很痛苦。祖父以最吵的音量去聆聽 Bruckner Symphony No. 9,企圖用音樂把自己和外在的世界隔絕,音樂本身反映了他內心的焦慮不安。在他的電影裏,玩古典音樂的人都像是有些心理 disabled 的人,追求 glory,追求完美,很渴望別人欣賞自己,在演奏音樂時懂得表現情感,但平常卻無法和人溝通自己的感受。

Scenes from a Marriage 裏面講的是一對夫婦之間的佔有、依賴和互相的怨憎,看了可能會令人懼怕婚姻。表面上的幸福和諧,暗藏著兩夫婦無法坦誠溝通的裂縫。據說這齣電視劇上演的那一年(只有數集,後來剪輯成電影),瑞典的離婚率也突然上昇,不知是因是果?這對離了婚的老夫老妻在 Saraband 再出現的時候,他們都老了,終於可以比較寛容地相對。老頭子半夜惡夢驚醒,還發現自己賴濕了,睡袍都髒了。老婆子說脫了吧,有甚麼所謂?兩個老人家赤裸裸地坦然相對,都快死了,無所謂了。


Le comte de Monte-Cristo

基督山伯爵是我中學時少有能夠一口氣從頭看到尾的翻譯小說(當然,我看的只是中文版不是英文更不會是法文)。家裏的那一套基督山,分成四大冊,就好像金庸的武俠小說一樣那麼長篇。也和武俠小說一樣氣勢磅礡、豪氣萬千,讓人愛不釋手,好像現在的 Lord of the Ring 之類的通俗小說,雖然不會期待像孤星淚之類會有深刻的主題,但絕對好看和沒有悶場。金庸的笑傲江湖和連城訣裏關於監獄和復仇都很明顯地抄襲了基督山伯爵,所不同者,基督山伯爵的復仇主要不是透過決鬥(雖然他劍術、槍法都是一等一的高手),而是透過種種手段讓對手身敗名裂,如透過報紙和電報發放消息,如踢爆對手的婚外情和私生子,挑撥對方的家人之間的矛盾。

書中描寫了十九世紀初法國中產階級和貴族的華麗而又腐敗的生活,簡直就是當時的風情畫一般。資本主義萌芽,報紙電報股票債卷興起,各種舞會、看歌劇、決鬥、議會政治、毒物學、宗教、婚外情,各種中產的生活,都在書中有描述。書中描寫的許多地方和場景,如 Edmond Dantes 長大的城巿馬賽,他被囚禁的監獄(Le Chateau d’If),基督山島(Monte Cristo),意大利強盜路易吉(Luigi)的山洞,羅馬的狂歡節(白遼士也曾譜曲 Roman Carnival),還有女主角 Mercedes 來自 Catalan (即 Barcelona 附近)的漁村,都很吸引。法國有一套基督山伯爵的電視短劇,共四集六小時,雖然劇情略有改動,但基本上沒有偏離太遠,忍不住看了,很精采很過癮。說起來,瑞典、法國都有這種電視短劇,說它是電視劇,它又不會像我們的電視劇一來便是三四十集,但比電影又要長,幾乎等於三部曲的電影一樣。很特別的模式。


V for Vendetta

又看了 V for Vendetta。故事裏經常提到基督山伯爵,因為主人翁 V 同樣發現社會的不公,希望挺身抗爭。實在太喜歡女主角 Natalie Portman 了,無論是這個殺手不太冷裏面的小女孩,到現在都是那樣迷人。這齣片裏有一幕她被剃光了頭,穿著橙色的衣服,竟然看起來有點像西藏還是緬甸的僧侶。這齣電影和 George Orwell 1984 裏面形容的極權社會極其相似,一樣有一個獨裁政府經常在監察人民 (Big Brother is Watching You),政府刪改歷史,控制傳媒,不但想控制人們的生活,更希望洗腦控制人民的思想。最諷刺的是,V 裏面的人民,竟然許多年吃的都是人工的食物,沒有吃過真正的雞蛋,沒有見過真正的玫瑰,甚至幾乎忘記了有這些事物的存在。電視台的主播只因為家裏藏了一部可蘭經,立即被政府派人消滅了。(美國現在不正正有人想燒了可蘭經嗎?難道對宗教的寛容自由都沒有了?)另一件有趣的是 1984 電影裏(該英國電影也正是 1984 年拍攝),男主角是故事裏的受害者,在 V 電影裏面竟然飾演的是 Big Brother。很明顯,這齣電影是對 1984 的一個回應。1984 的結局是男主角最終也被洗腦了,變成社會機器的一部份,V for Vendetta 卻在談人民的醒覺,認識到自己的力量,反抗的可能。實在太精采了。

故事裏開場白提到 Guy Fawkes,一個 York 出生的英國人,在幾百年前想炸了倫敦的國會(你可以說他是恐怖主義,也可以說他是反抗暴政),結果被捕處死。每年十一月五日,英國人都會放煙花慶祝 Guy Fawkes 逝世的週年,到底是慶祝把暴徒處死了,定還是在慶祝人民反抗暴政的精神?(我竟然認識兩個朋友,和我自己都是在這一天生日,一位剛剛小我十年,另一位和我同年同月同日生。很快我便三十歲生日了, 想不到全英國都會放煙花為我慶祝。:-P)



在 Edinburgh 看了音樂劇 Wonderland,很精采。也是緣份,七月時自己寫的音樂劇 Alice 上演,八月時有機會看別人寫的音樂劇 Wonderland。Wonderland 這個劇裏只有兩個演員,他們的真實身份是 Mr. Dodgson (他的筆名就是 Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 的原作者)和飾演 Alice 的女演員 Isa Bowman。Isa Bowman 多年來飾演 Alice 這個角色,可是她已經長大成熟了,不想再演 Alice in Wonderland 裏的小女孩。她很想當一位專業的演員,可是多年來 Dodgson 只希望她演 Alice 這個角色。Isa 這次本來想來向 Dodgson 道別,但 Dodgson 極力挽留,要她再演一回 Alice in Wonderland。分飾多角,不同時候飾演 rabbit, caterpillar, dormouse, mad hatter,還有一個文字遊戲譜成歌曲,很是有趣。Lewis Carroll 很有趣的文字遊戲 (douplet),例如把 Black turns into white, tea turns into jam。


e.g. BLACK-blank-blink-clink-chink-chine-whine-WHITE

後來 Isa 實在忍不住了,問 Dodgson 為甚麼一定要她演 Alice? 是因為他喜歡他自己筆下創造的人物 Alice,而不喜歡真實的她 ?還是他在懷念他以前認識的 Alice Liddell? Isa 開始妒忌了,她很想知道,他心目中懷念的那個 Alice 到底是怎麼的模樣,她要看到真正 Alice 的照片。(有點像 Bluebeard Castle 裏面 Judith 一直很想知道 Bluebeard 的前妻是誰?)

裏面又有 Father Williams 一首詩譜成的曲。這是曾經令我很頭痛的一首詩,因為長短不一,難分段落,感覺上似是 through-composed 而不是 strophic 的歌,很難寫成曲子,但聽了 Susannah Pearse 作的曲,很喜歡。(p.s. Susannah Pearse 是紐約 TISCH 音樂劇作曲的畢業生)。