2005.06.23 陰雨的週四午后

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Thursday 6/23/05 2:23pm Taipei at home

Listening to the new Nine Inch Nails album now and writing this journal on a rainy Thursday afternoon. Actually, I’m going to run off to the gym soon but I wanted to jot down a few lines just before I leave. I’ve been back for about a week now from my trips to Beijing and Singapore and have been trying to get settled in gearing up for the concert preparations. The sun has been out for most of this week in Taipei so it’s hot as heck. The heat is sticky and makes my hair frizzy and difficult to manage which drives me crazy. The heat coupled with the humidity also makes you lazy and not want to do anything but just sweat more. I heard it’s extremely hot in Beijing as well with temperatures nearing the 40’s. The unbearable heat…I’m off to the gym to sweat some more now. But there’s air conditioning there so…herein lies the irony. We go to sweat yet we turn on the AC to keep ourselves cool and less prone to sweat. What do we really want?

8:04pm Back at home from the gym and office

I’m home alone and it’s quiet except for the sound of the AC and, again, the new NIN album. There’s something very calming about this music although from the outside it appears to be violent and angry. The industrial-ness of it seems to make you feel like a machine with the drums and musical elements churning in rhythm to your brain waves. It somehow pacifies me and brings a certain kind of balance to my soul and world. Perhaps the world outside as we know it holds more dementia, violence and paranoia in comparison.

I’ve been feeling pretty good these days as I’m beginning to get on a new schedule and routine. I’m eating healthier, I’m working out more and starting to get back to my music and “core”. As my first concert approaches, I am starting to feel more and more anxious and stressed. I have begun working out again after taking a one-month plus hiatus from the gym. It feels good to get back into shape though I still have a long way to go. Lots of cardio and then weights afterwards is what I do about five days a week though I know I need to increase my workout intensity in order to get to where I want to be. I need to transform myself into a lean, mean, performing machine in less than two months. Of course, aside from the physical aspects, I also need to get back into my singing and playing. I haven’t been singing much lately though I do get to play my guitar every now and then. Musicians call playing skill and aptitude “chops” and, so, I definitely need to get my chops back and up to par. I’ll be playing a lot more than in the previous show so I need step up my practicing and get to where I used to be technically when I was in high school. When I was about 16 I used to play every single day (yes, even on the toilet) but now I play guitar only when I need to which is when I’m recording. Of course, when I was 16 I didn’t possess the musicianship I have now so it’s kind of give and take. Singing and vocals is another aspect that I need to greatly improve upon this time for the concert so it’s something I’ll be working on as well. My song set has always been very challenging as I have such a wide range of material to sing. Therefore, my work is cut out for me, as I need to have the stamina and power to jump from a soft ballad with falsetto to a high-energy up-tempo song and then to a very vocally abrasive rock song. Thanks goodness I don’t have to dance or else it would make things even more complicated!

This new tour and concert will be different than my previous concert although the focus will still be the music and interaction of the musicians on stage rather than delivering a “variety” show. I was happy with the fact that our Soul Power Tour held it’s own amidst the other more elaborate shows and that audiences enjoyed the music and the band. Coming from a western musical background, I’m used to simpler shows and concerts (though still very entertaining) that feature the music, band and singer rather than the stage design, elaborate costumes and antics onstage. I watched Madonna’s show a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed it in spite of the fact that it had dancers and elaborate costumes and stage designs. The reason was because it was so well integrated and everything was done so beautifully and with finesse. Don’t get me wrong-I’m not against choreography, elaborate stage designs and costumes-but what I feel is that everything needs to be well integrated and not just thrown together. I feel that many shows now contain elements and segments that are just thrown in just for the sake of having it there. Maybe it’s to create a visual effect or to create a surprise or shock value but I feel there should always be a reason for everything. Therefore, when you watch a concert or show like that you leave with just a visual impression but no emotional response. Therefore, in this new show I’m trying to integrate more visual elements but the pre-requisite is that they must have meaning and “serve” the song and music at hand. If it were something merely for the sake of a visual effect or to wow the audience then it would not be sufficient. It’s like a “cheap scare” in a horror film when out of nowhere a cat jumps out and delivers a low blow to the audience. In the end, when all is said and done, the concert needs to deliver and be entertaining.

At this point in time, I still cannot reveal the time and date of our shows but if you stay tuned to our website, you’ll be the first to receive official information on when and how to buy tickets to this new concert tour. We’ll be coming to a city near you (I hope!) and I hope to see all of you there with your friends and family. I am personally producing and planning this show just like I do on my album so you can rest assure that it will be something very close to my heart. I will be working hard to bringing you the very best of everything I have within my control. The best band, sound system, lighting and performance onstage and backstage! Another thing I’ll be working hard on with the promoters is to bring the show to all of you, I’d like everybody to be able to afford and attend my concert. Of course, there will always be expensive tickets, which will equate to closer and better seats but there will only be a minimum of those seats available. The remainder and the majority of the tickets will be in the lower to medium price strata, which most people should be able to afford depending on their budget. If you are only able to purchase the cheapest ticket I still want to ensure you enjoy yourself, can hear the music and have a good time. Of course, there are built-in limitations and problems with each venue and those are difficult to overcome or out of our control. However, the promoter and I will do what we can in terms of ticket prices, stage design, performance and sound system to deliver a quality show for everybody regardless of what price ticket you purchase.

The next few months will be both physically, mentally and spiritually challenging for me and I hope you can all keep me in your prayers. I will be preparing for my concerts, managing my businesses as well as beginning production on a new album. I will keep all of you in my prayers and hope that all of you are safe and lucid in all you do and strive for. Love one another and be patient, humble and forgiving to those around you. God Bless, DT

2005年6月23日星期四 下午 2點23分 台北家中

陰雨的週四午后,ㄧ邊聽Nine Inch Nails的新專輯,一邊寫這篇日記。其實,我等一下就要跑去健身房,但是我還是想在出門之前,把一些想法速記下來。結束北京跟新加坡的行程,回到這邊也有一個禮拜的時間了,我已經上緊發條,開始投入於演唱會的籌備工作。台北這個禮拜幾乎都有出太陽,簡直快熱爆了。 這種炎熱是黏黏的,它把我的頭髮變得又毛又捲,很難梳理, 這讓我非常抓狂。悶熱加上潮溼也會讓你感到懶洋洋的,除了流汗,什麼事都做不了。我聽說,北京也是超熱的,氣溫甚至逼近攝氏40度。令人難受的酷熱啊…我現在要去健身房多流些汗了。但是那裡有空調…這真的很諷刺。我們明明是要去流汗的,可是我們卻打開空調來讓自己保持涼爽,減少流汗。我們到底想要怎樣?

晚間 8點4分 離開健身房及辦公室,回到家中

我一個人在家,整個屋子裡只有空調的聲音及…Nine Inch Nails的新專輯。表面上,這種音樂聽起來是非常暴力而憤怒的,然而它其實具有一些相當沈靜的層面。它的工業化本質會把你自己變得像個機器一樣,讓鼓及所有的音樂元素隨著節奏跟你的腦波一起轉動。這或多或少安撫了我,讓我的靈魂與世界達致某種平衡。相形之下,也許我們所認識的外在世界,原本就存有更多的痴癲、暴戾與妄想。

我最近的心情很好,有了一個全新的工作行程與生活規律。我吃得更健康,更常健身,而且開始回到以音樂為核心的生活。當我的第一場演唱會逐漸逼近的時候,我開始變得愈加焦慮與緊張。在缺席了一個多月之後,我現在又重新回到健身房了。可以恢復原來的身型線條是很棒的,但是我想我還有很長的一段路要走。我現在每個禮拜有五天要健身,做了許多有氧運動與重量訓練,但是我知道如果要達到我的目標,我必續加重所有健身項目的強度。我要在不到兩個月的時間之內,轉型成一個結實、出色的表演機器。當然,除了體能層面之外,我也要恢復我的歌唱與演奏訓練。我已經有段時間沒有開口唱歌了,不過我還滿常彈吉他的。音樂人將演奏的技巧與才能稱之為「chops」,因此我現在必須在重拾我的「chops」,恢復既有的水平。相較於之前的任何演出,我這次將有更多的彈奏表演,因此我得加緊練習的腳步,恢復我中學時期的技術水準。我在16歲的時候,我每天都在練吉他(沒錯,甚至包括我在上廁所的時候)但是現在我只有在錄音需要的時候,我才會彈吉他。當然,我十六歲的時候,對音樂的涉獵仍未足夠, 只是單純地練習彈奏吉他。演唱技巧與嗓音詮釋是在這次的演唱會中,另一個必須大幅提升改善的部份,因此這也是我正在進行的功課之一。我的表演曲目具備極高的挑戰性,因為我得詮釋的風格類型實在很多。我要做的功課規劃如下:我必須有足夠的耐力與體力,讓自己可以從一首用假音演唱的溫柔情歌,一躍變成高能量、節奏強的歌曲;接著又以粗獷的嗓音詮釋搖滾樂曲。謝天謝地,我不用跳舞,不然的話,事情可能會得更加複雜。

這個全新的巡迴演唱會,將不同與之前的演唱會,但是音樂、舞台上的樂手互動仍然是它的主要焦點,而不是淪為一場「綜藝表演」。我感到十分開心的是Soul Power在許多精心製作的演唱會中依舊能夠脫穎而出,觀眾們也都很喜歡我們的樂團與音樂 。 來自西方音樂的成長背景,我比較習慣簡單的表演與演唱會(但還是要娛樂性十足),節目內容強調音樂、樂團與歌手,而不是譁眾取寵的舞台設計與服裝造型。我幾年前看過Madonna的現場演出,儘管它有舞群、充滿設計感的服裝與舞台,但是我真的非常喜歡那場表演。因為其中的所有元素結合得如此緊密,成就了美妙且精緻的現場質感。但別搞錯,我並非反對舞蹈演出、精細的服裝與舞台設計,我只是覺得所有的事物都必須完美配搭,而不只是被湊在一起罷了。我覺得現在的表演節目裡,很多元素與橋段都只是為有而有。也許那是為了製造一種視覺效果,或是創造一份驚奇感與震撼度,但是我總認為事出有因。這結果就像你去看了一場演唱會或表演,離開之後,你只留有視覺印象,卻未產生絲毫情感反應。因此,我將在新的演唱會裡結合更多視覺元素,但是前提是,這些元素是有意義的,有助於傳達歌曲與音樂的內容。如果只是一個視覺特效,或者只是為了讓觀眾發出「哇!」的驚嘆聲,那它絕對是不夠的。這就像恐怖片裡, 無緣無故跳出一隻貓的 「廉價驚悚」 ,趁觀眾不注意的時候,暗地裡偷打一拳。當然說了這麼多,最後不管怎麼樣,一場演唱會就是要好看!

在現今的時間點上,我仍然無法透露任何關於演唱會的時間與日期,但是只要你鎖定我們的網站,你就可以率先取得演唱會購票的正確時間與方式等相關訊息。很快的,我們將會臨到你居住的城市(我好期待!)我也希望可以在哪裡見到你們跟你們的朋友與家人。就像在做專輯一樣,這是一個我自己製作、企劃的演唱會,所以你們大可放心,這將是貼近我內心世界的一場演出。不論幕前幕後,我們都將呈現最棒的樂團、音響、燈光與演出。還有一件我正在跟主辦單位共同努力的事 ﹣ 我希望每一個人都可以有機會來參加我的演唱會。當然,一定會有比較貴的門票,比較靠近舞台的好位子,而這些門票的數量通常也是有限的。其他大部分的門票都是中低價位的,這些會是在多數人的預算範圍許可之內。假如你只能買最便宜的票,我也希望你們都可以玩得開心,享受美好的音樂時光。當然,每個場地都會有些既有的限制與問題,而這些都是難以克服或超出我們的控制範圍的。然而,我跟主辦單位會盡力在票價、舞台設計、表演與音響等各方面都做到最好,不管你買的是什麼票,我們希望每一個人都可以觀賞到一場有質感的演唱會。

on my way to see my friends who lived a couple blocks away from me as i walked through the subway