Kuo and his fellows tried to conjure up the feel of a time when China grew steadily more enriched by exposing itself to foreign cultures like India, Central Asia, West Asia (Turkey, Iran), East Europe (Hungary) through extensive travel and trade.
“It embraced many non-Chinese cultural elements, from the Buddhist religion to grape wine to Central Asian music,” Kuo says.
While the inspiration of Tang Dynasty poets was pervasive, some of the songs the band wrote directly quoted them. For example, the song An De Guang Sha Qian Wan Jian? is translated as “How can we find 10,000 houses to accommodate the poor of the world to make them happy?” – which is a line from Du Fu‘s poems.
“I’m especially enamored by the poems that have frontier themes: deserts, bloody battles, exotic ‘barbarian’ loan words, swords. That stuff’s metal!” says Kuo.
Kaiser Kuo is a much asked speaker on both China’s contemporary culture and the inte
rnet. Do you need him at your conference? Do get in touch with the China Speakers Bureau.