Being passionate and committed cultural ambassadors, musicians come to Taichung from all over the world.
Owing to the policies of building Taichung to be an art city, more and more arts scenes are being created in Taichung. They attract musicians from all over the world, who choose to stay in Taichung and bring their talents into full play. This is the great moment of their life, to experience the different culture, make friends of the same kind and play music together, and these art events make local people's lives more and more colorful.
A Land Worth Cultivating
Patrick Byrne is from Newfoundland, Canada, and grew up in Vancouver. He used to play for a professional band at home, and then came to Taichung five years ago. He is committed to promote music here, trying to bring local and foreign musicians together and make the music more flourishing and vigorous. He said, "Language is not the barrier, our only language is music." Under the certain policy of promoting music and art by the Mayor Jason Hu, he has perceived that Taichung is a land worth musicians' cultivation. "The Mayor is doing the right thing and he will succeed." Patrick commented.
Anthony, from Oregon State, USA, is another type of musician, who also does graphic design. He used to work as a professional DJ in other countries, and he has released a CD named "Banana Beats". One special thing about Anthony is that he is very interested in Chinese culture. He has learned Chinese Kung Fu and Taijiquan, and is still practicing. He is a vegetarian, and his only 'unhealthy' hobby is smoking. He is thirty five years old and likes to stay at home to write songs and music, leading a kind of quiet life. But he won't miss any big or small music events held in Taichung. He helps arrange the equipment at concerts, and sometimes those foreigner musicians also play his music.
Another musician plays guitar as a big hobby. He is Melvin, from Edmonton, Canada. He decided to go to Asia to experience the different culture. He has friends that have visited Taiwan before, and he heard about Taichung's great music culture atmosphere, so he came and applied for work as an English teacher, playing music in his leisure time. "It has been sixteen months since I arrived here. I have met a lot of music people. I feel at home." He said.
A City with Art
Cohesion between these foreigners is strong; they do big things. Patrick has met the mayor during different music festivals and suggested something for the city's cultural growth, which the mayor accepted: the location of the Jazz Festival. Patrick is very active in music festivals. He has performed in the last three Jazz Festivals, as well as many other public and private functions. When he was still new in Taichung, he approached people and asked where he could play music. Now, he knows many musicians, and promotes them as enthusiastically as he promotes himself. He is also busy connecting local musicians and foreign musicians together. "We can create more and more by combing each other's culture and music. We should communicate more and play music together." He is very committed to what he is doing.
As for Anthony, he used to live in Seoul, Korea. He found that he doesn't like to stay in big cities, so he chose Taichung. He likes to hang around in some of the artistic places, such as Stock 21, TADA (Taiwan Art Design and Architecture Center), and so on.
Melvin likes to get close to nature. His favorite destinations are Taichung Park and Taichung Metropolitan Park. For food, he is always trying something new. He said, "I like beef noodle soup, sesame sauce noodles, fried rice... they are all good." Anthony, the vegetarian, doesn't eat out a lot, but he said that foreigners, including musicians, like to get together in some restaurants near Zhongming South Road, like Sahara Cafe, Fingu's Deli, and Bodega.
Committed to Deeply Impacting Local Communities with Music
The concerts held in TADA just finished at the end of last December. It attracted five hundred people for the opening concert. However, Patrick and Anthony think they can still be bigger and better. Patrick said, "For this summer's music festival, we want to do something more, and hope the City Government can support us." They will start to prepare even earlier than last year, to make the next one more organized and professional. They want to deeply impact local communities with music, making Taichung a more vigorous music garden.
If you want to have a taste of what these musicians play, you can go to 105 2F Hwamei West Street to the "Grooveyard" pub every Wednesday. You may meet some musicians like Patrick and others. They are great people, and you will enjoy the night for sure.