Capsule Shanghai is happy to host the launch of Duan Yingmei’s first CD 'Forty Eight Years Ago, the Road an Ocean'. Music composer Han Xiaohan will also be present at the event.
Duan Yingmei has been doing performance art since many years - her artwork involves and incorporates people from different cultures and parts of society. Improvisational singing, sound, language and collaboration with different musicians are often part of her live performances and performance installations. Duan has always wished to combine performance art with pure singing in order to attract a wider audience. She believes this is also a way for more people to learn about performance art. Making this album is like a dream coming true for her, as well as an extension of her performance art.
In 2016, Duan Yingmei joined the residency project "Strolling Along the Discernible Min Jiang” in Chengdu, where she met sound artists Yanking Li and Xiaoguo Xu. Influenced by these two artists, they listened to a lot of inspiring music together. It reminded Duan of her life in the '90s, when she was listening to American Rock ‘n’ Roll, to music from the '60s and '70s and when she used her improvisational singing to feature in several songs on Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s albums. On the same year, at the Shenyang Performance Music Festival, Duan met Chinese contemporary composer Xiaohan Han, and after a great deal of communication it occurred to Duan that she could ask him to help her with her album. In 2017, they began working on this album.
The lyrics mostly come from Duan Yingmei’s performance artworks. Xiaohan’s inspiration for the music comes primarily from the descriptions of Duan’s works. On this basis he combined her improvisational singing, documentation materials from Duan's live performances, and her personal experiences as a performance artist. These diverse points provided the structure from which Xiaohan composed the album.
Duan hasn’t received any professional musical training, plus she was born with a speech impediment, therefore some problems arose while recording, but luckily the project was successfully completed under Xiaohan’s encouragement and help. Yingmei was so spurred on by the whole album-making process that she decided to continue creating art that combines music and sound.