“Da Yu Hua Shang” is a live stage production which combines traditional Chinese poems, music, dances, wushu martial arts, modeling, and painting to tell the sacred stories very personal to Chinese culture. The show travelled to many different places like the World Expo in Shanghai, the Guangzhou Asian Games, a special three-day run at the Australia Brisbane Exhibition Center, the Daegu Tour in South Korea, and the tenth session of the Chinese Art Festival. “Da Yu Hua Shang” also performed at the opening ceremony of the Peru APEC Summit.
"Da yu Hua shang" presents the art of the traditional and modern imagery costumes of Chinese opera. These visually stunning pieces instantly transport the audience to another part of the world. The presentation involves dance, and thus music to properly display the intention of these costumes. Beyond the normal technical direction and production tools, Gong was able to use something very cutting edge with this production. He reveals, “I was able to project in a design idea of holographic technology using WYSIWYG. The lighting design software from the stage lighting and sound design greatly enhanced the creative and innovative lighting design level. At the same time, it also realizes the synchronization of the intelligent photoelectric system and presents a new sound experience.” Kong Xianglin operation director of “Da Yu Hua Shang” notes, “Mr. Gong was able to capture the mood of the piece even with the overload of movement due to the dance elements. He was able to bring a new appreciation to these ancient dramas while also bringing every other element of the performance to its best level. His work made these shows an entirely new experience, and his knowledge and implementation of the technical elements was a main reason for our sustained success.”
When the China National Museum Orchestra recording was awarded first prize at the 2003 Chinese Institute of Film and Television Sound Production Technology Outstanding Works, it was due to the incredible performance of the musicians as well as the fact that Gong captured the performance so well. His long history of recording live music and careful attention to detail allowed him to discern the specials aspects which required specific attention for this award-winning recording. He describes, “The national band [frequency] of each instrument should be captured at the highest possible resolution. The sound characteristics of various musical instruments requires the use of a multiple microphone recording technology layout. According to the characteristics of the microphone, the microphones used were the SHURE BETA58, SENNHEISER SKM 2000, SCHOEPS CMC6, NEUMENN U87Ai, etc. In each voice arrangement two to three microphones were utilized in order to achieve the satisfactory balance. According to the characteristics of China national instruments, stringed instruments, and plucked instruments, the need to strengthen these instruments in order to be heard properly over a stronger one…such as a percussion instrument, means it’s important for there to be a clear and balanced fusion to truly present the soul of the National Orchestral. According to each song form, musical instruments, and solo features characteristic vocals, I separately arranged a microphone, maintaining the signal to noise ratio. The most important thing to note is how to deal with the dynamic range of music. When the percussion is playing, the music volume fluctuation is very large. Sometimes the difference can reach more than 100db. It’s paramount to ensure the volume is balanced the entire time, to know what you want to record in the band, to listen to the band’s rehearsal and experience the group in the natural state of the sound. This is the only true way to make a reference for the recording. You want to capture it as close as possible the true nature of the ensemble’s actual sound.”
Committed to the next generation of gifted musicians, Gong (who studied piano in his youth) has also attended the Shandong Province Youth Music TV Competition; not as a producer or technical director but rather as a judge. Xiang Nan feels strongly that the way to foster budding talent is to give them some of his time and expertise. He encourages the many young aspiring musicians to practice and listen to the music because the composer is telling them what they should be feeling. “Mr. Gong is a widely-respected professional and was invited to serve as a judge due to his accomplishments in the field. He was able to lend his talents and insight to our competition and help recognize the most outstanding youth musicians, while prepping the talented young performers for the future.” Remarks Sun Jianbin, Dean at the Shandong College of Arts’ School of Music Education.
While working with the most elite of the industry, Xiang Nan exposes the world to the cultural and artistic heritage of his homeland while simultaneously nurturing the future of that same culture.