My name is Qiu Xia He and 30 years ago, I immigrated to Canada, a musician with no papers, no money, no family and no language. Since the Covid-19 crisis, I have lost the majority of my income and live performance activities: concerts, school shows, senior homes and band rehearsals – everything I rely on as a musician. In other words, I am back to square one.
Except, this time I have a lot more to start with. I have my Canadian citizenship and I don’t need to be afraid of being kicked out of the country; I have enthusiastic students who encourage me to teach online; I have a husband who is also a musician and ready to deal with my overflowing thoughts and musical experiments; I have the choice of English or Chinese to connect with friends all around the world via phone, email, Facebook, WeChat; I have time to be an audience to the artistic world and their livestreams, newsletters, Youtube clips, Facebook posts; most of all, I am no longer scared. I hold many things in my hands to kick start a new beginning.
For 50 years, I have been chasing deadlines, but now as a full time unemployed musician, I have the chance to pay closer attention to my inner voice. As I wonder where and what I will be doing artistically for the next while, I find myself looking to my traditional Chinese training and the growth I have experienced in my Canadian artistic practice. I don’t know the answers fully, but one thing remains strong: I will still work on my music and play for audiences.
Live music is the natural creation of human beings! We share our joy and sorrow through this form and that is defined by a profound desire within, not the condition of the world. No matter how technology spins, how economies crash, how bad the virus gets, we have music in our soul!
Surely, I will have a way to start again and reconnect with the community that I have cherished my artistic vision with.
Reflecting on the turmoil of the world, I offer 十面埋伏 Ambush from Ten Sides. Watch this classical piece, played by the master Liu Dehai who was the first Pipa player to introduce our instrument to the Western World. He died on April 11, 2020 at age 83.
Best wishes from myself and my company,
Silk Road Music (www.silkroadmusic.ca).
Qiu Xia’s Offerings