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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Image: Supplied.

Chinese/Australian avant-garde composer Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, and her Melbourne-based contemporary Tim Shiel have unveiled their first collaboration, Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发. The track marks the first release from the duos upcoming EP, Nervous Energy 一触即发, due out this March.

Released via the new not-for-profit label aimed at profiling musicians from refugee and migrant backgrounds, Music in Exile, the label kick-started their new Building Bridges series, aimed at keeping individuals connected and inspired during lockdown. Their first release is the duos new single. The track references the juxtaposition of Shanghai’s Bund district, where the city’s ultra-modern and ceaseless pace of life meets protected heritage sites. It symbolises a constant struggle in Mindy’s creative process; inspiration drawn from ancient traditions trying to find relevance in a modern world. The Tiger references a popular Western view of China as a sleeping threat, which may at any moment awaken. “There is a special and complex feeling of power and strength in this song. It is clean and thorough, strong yet soft; decisive and delicate. It is full of a dynamic and urgent sense of time.” Meng Wang shares.

The release is accompanied by a visual, directed by Shiel himself. The music video utilises images of the Bund and Shanghai overall, creating a common grown that juxtaposes the modern pace of the track with urban Chinese life. Speaking of video, Shiel shares: "Like a lot of people, I find machine learning and AI to be equally transfixing and frightening. This video is just me dipping the toes in the machine learning water to see what it feels like. It’s far from exhaustive and it all comes from filtered through a certain aesthetic lens but nonetheless I think it's a snapshot of both the diversity and the normalcy of real urban life in China. I’ve never been to China but I’d love to go. Mindy talks to me often about the balance between the ancient beauty of China and the more modern infrastructure and faster pace of the cities. From a distance, it feels to me like a part of the world that is simultaneously very slow and very fast - so I like that this clip tries to capture that, busy moments in urban life are paused and then stretched, hinting at bigger, longer timescales."

Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发 is out now! Watch the music video below.


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