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* aural cavity located on the sides of the head for insertion of local music scene
±d¦ʏ µø±ø»x, February 2002
A Traveler on a Musical Journey:
An Exclusive Interview with Wind Records General Manager Ken Yang

By Rachel Chiou Translated by Cheryl Robbins

"Just wanted to tell you I will be using Ken Yang's "Meet the Sky" on my program this weekend. What an absolutely wonderful album. How very 'just right' this music is for me at this horrible time in our country and, indeed, the world. I found the music soothing, uplifting and full of hope. Track #8, 'Cherry Flower Rain' is my favorite. It makes me cry. This is the kind of music that makes me want to spread my arms out to the world, palms up and turn slowly in a circle, joyfully, face lifted to the Heavens. Mr. Yang has a wonderful gift. It must be the ultimate achievement to move total strangers with your music. Thank you for sharing this album with me that I may now share it with my listeners."

  • Sharing is a Powerful Motivating Force
    The above quote is from a letter sent to Ken Yang by an American DJ after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Ken Yang says that he was so moved by the letter that he could not sleep on the night he received it. He never thought that his music could be used to touch someone half a world away, or bring such comfort to people who had just experienced a serious emotional trauma.


    Wind Records already has a 10-year history, not all of it very easy. There was a time when the company was bringing in a monthly income of only NT$8,000 and looked like it would have to close. But it was Ken Yang¡¦s determination and love of music that has kept Wind going.
  • Destined for Life as a Musician
    Ken Yang is the second child in his family. He describes himself as a very determined person, even when he was very young. In school, he was always at the top of his class. His father, a farmer, hoped that his children would get good educations and stable jobs. However, Yang¡¦s talent and passion for music enabled him to take a less practical road.
    ¡§From very early on, I knew that I would follow my interest in music. When I was in elementary school, the school principal taught the music class. He was always asking me to sing for everyone,¡¨ he says.

    In his hands, a hollow plastic pipe became a wind instrument that could produce beautiful melodies. This innate sensitivity to sound is the main reason he decided to embark on his musical journey.
  • Music as a Form of Communication
    When questioned about where he gets the inspiration for his music, Yang answered, ¡§One day, I was at a hot springs in Wulai. The weather was really nice. The sun was out and reflecting off the water. The steam from the springs was rising from the surface. As I relaxed in the spring, I started to hear a melody in my head.


    Asked if his inspiration comes only during his leisure time, he answered, ¡§When people are their most relaxed, that is when they are their most creative. I like to allow all of my senses to be clear, to experience my feelings. Then I use music to express and share them. Instead of using words to write articles or essays, I use music.¡¨
  • Internationalizing His Musical Journey

    Matthew Lien, a Canadian environmentalist, musician and composer, has made quite a name for himself in Taiwan, with six albums distributed on the Wind Records label. Yang explained how he came to work with a musician like Lien, who is so passionate about life and the environment. In Wind Records' earlier days, he traveled around with a suitcase of samples of the company¡¦s music. At that time, he was promoting Wind¡¦s music while looking for good music to promote
    .
    ¡§I was walking along a street somewhere and I saw a poster advertising Matthew¡¦s album. On the poster it said that this music was made on behalf of the wolves that were being persecuted by man. Although I hadn¡¦t heard any of the album, I was immediately moved. Once we met and started working together, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we shared a lot of the same ideals and concepts.¡¨
  • The Ideas behind the Music
    Yang said that his other interests included working on creating more music. He stressed that there were many aspects to producing and distributing music, with many ways to use music to help people improve the quality of their lives or enrich their emotions.


    "Music is not just a form of entertainment. We are making music to fill needs, for example, to increase awareness of the environment and of different cultures, as well as emotional sensitivity and health. Basically, we want to create music and activities that will help people to bring out love from within to the people and environment around them. The music and methods that we use to promote the music have more of an influence and effect on people than traditional educational methods,¡¨ he explains.

    Yang added that some kindergartens play Wind Records music at the start of the day to increase the emotional sensitivity of the children and make them more receptive to learning. This kind of feedback makes him very happy. The support and interaction of his fans give him the motivation and drive to create more emotionally moving music.

In the last few years, Wind Records has made quite an impressive showing at the Golden Melody Awards and other international music awards. For the founder and general manager of Wind Records, these have been big steps along his musical journey. There is little doubt that Ken Yang will continue to lead Wind Records in the creation of rich, life-altering music.

 

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