SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Music of Lin Sheng-hsiang

Speaker: Mr Ma Shih-fang

Date: 7 July 2016Time: 4:30 PM

Finishes: 7 July 2016Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Summer Lecture

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies 2016 Summer School
Day Three
Fourth Event

CLICK HERE to view the full programme and register to attend free!

About the Talk

Lin Sheng Xiang: A Folk Rock Warrior's Tale

Lin Sheng Hsiang (2)

Born in a pig farmer's family in the small town Meinong in southern Taiwan, Hakka singer Lin Sheng Xiang (林生祥) grew up in a time when the island underwent vast social, political and economic changes. He has been singing topical songs since the early 90's when he was studying in the Tamkang University, over the years, he developed an unique style which blends traditional Hakka and Holo folk music with Okinawa folk, reggae, jazz, and contemporary folk/rock. His half-Taiwanese, half-Japanese ShengXiang Band consists of several incredibly good veteran musicians coming from different cultural backgrounds, had already secured legendary status in the island's music history.

Working with long time collaborating lyricist Zhong Yong Feng (鍾永豐), Lin is the torch bearer in the tradition of old-time traveling balladeer, like a modern day Tam Tat (陳達) or Woody Guthrie with a backing band. He made a series of conceptual albums telling stories of farmers facing devastating effects brought by WTO and globalization, workers under depressing environments or losing jobs, women grew up in rural regions and often suppressed by traditional patriarchal society, and how industrial pollution caused heartbreaking tragedies and decades-long protests in small villages across southern Taiwan.

In this brief lecture I will select some of Lin's most powerful works including songs from his newest double album Village Besieged (圍庄) and share stories behind them.

Speaker's Bio
Ma Shih Fang

Ma Shih Fang (馬世芳) began his career as a radio DJ in 1989, when he was an 18-year old high school graduate. After almost 30 years in the business, he is now often regarded as the best radio DJ in 101264Chinese-speaking world.

Ma is the author of four books with in-depth, often personal stories about rock/pop, blues, folk, and history of Taiwanese/Chinese pop music. His first book Subterranean Homesick Blues (地下鄉愁藍調) was nominated the Golden Tripod Award and was awarded one of "The Best Books from Taiwan" in Taipei International Book Exhibition, 2008. His third book Lend Me Your Ears (耳朵借我) won a China Times Kaijuan Good Book Award (中時開卷好書獎) .

He co-edited the massively influential book 100 Best Albums of Taiwanese Pop Music, 1975-1992 while studying in National Taiwan University, and also co-edited its follow-up, 200 Best Albums of Taiwanese Pop Music, 1975-2005. Ma also co-translated the Chinese edition of Lennon Remembers: The 1970 Rolling Stone Interview by Jann S. Wenner.

Ma is a three-time Broadcast Golden Bell Awards winner, including two Best Popular Music Program Awards and a Best DJ Award.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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