We had the good fortune of connecting with Keyin Lou and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keyin, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I consider myself a multi-faceted musician. To sum it up I now have three running businesses. The first is my main role: composer. It can be said that in this job, I am both my employee and boss. As an “employee”, I have to complete commissioned work, including concert music, commercials, film scores, etc. As a “boss”, I will think about how to make my music more valuable and influential while completing the work – in terms of artistry, commercial value, and social influence.
As a musician, one of the most immediate things that can bring value to society is teaching. So I think the teacher is my second role. In the past two years, I have been teaching composition at circlecircle music and DArt Education to help more students go out of their own countries to learn and express themselves. I hope that more young students can understand music through teaching methods and begin to enjoy the joy of music.
In addition to the above two, the project I am actively promoting is the promotion and exchange of Song Yun culture. One of the constants of being a composer is what I can do with music and impact our world. I started the “Music from the East and the West” series of concerts three or four years ago. The initial idea was to simply use the same theme to show the musical expressions of the East and the West from different perspectives. In the past two years, I have become more and more aware that as a young Chinese composer, I can do more with music. So I chose to start from the traditional Song Yun culture in my hometown Hangzhou, and use this as the theme of my works and concerts to show the charm of Song Yun culture. I think the world’s understanding of Chinese culture can have more depth, and I hope more musicians can join in to study and understand Song Yun culture. Use a music circle to exchange traditional culture to let more people understand each other’s culture, thereby reducing social disputes. I think this is the most harmonious way of expressing music, and it is also my beautiful vision for the future.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been studying composition since a very young age, so a composer’s career seems to have been a must for me for a long time ago. It’s not easy. In the beginning, I didn’t understand the meaning of music very well. After I could enjoy the fun of music, as a professional composer just starting, I didn’t have many opportunities to work, which brought me a lot of pressure.
But after gradually finding my creative direction, I got more job opportunities, including a song and dance drama “The Legend of Yongtai” that I am working on with the theme of Fujian local characteristics. I think many people have realized the importance of using traditional culture to communicate. In this era of information and its development, I hope that more people will be willing to explore their unknown fields after listening to my stories and music.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course, there is no need to say more about various music activities. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and outdoor concerts in the summer. Must check them out! And you can find my concert at Columbia University every semester. Come if the time matched!
Apart from the music, I would like to recommend a restaurant that I like called “The Tang”. They mainly serve traditional Chinese noodles and other dishes. My favorite is scallion oil noodles, which are the kinds of noodles that people in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai people like. The decoration style of the restaurant also has strong traditional Chinese cultural characteristics. Makes me feel at home.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Frist shoutout to my performer. It’s you guys who made my music from flat to three-dimensional. And of course to my audiences. The positive comments you give after all the live performances are the driving force for me to create new works, and also the source for me to look back and think about myself and improve. Last but not least, shoutout to all my friends, coworkers, and family. You are what made me who I am now.