Ancient Style

Ancient style (古风) is a new music genre in China, gaining popularity fairly quickly with the rise of video games, TV dramas and movies that focus on the same theme. It’s still very small and insignificant on the world stage, but one of their concerts showed me someone capable of writing poetry within seconds. Her pseudonym is Hatred Against Drunkenness (恨醉), a songwriter. I personally don’t know too many Chinese poets who can write poems within seconds. They are very rare, like one in one thousand Chinese, to say the least. Most of them need at least a couple of minutes to write something interesting.

Here’s the video showing her performing such a feat live at a concert (https://youtu.be/rgSGTzxL1PU?list=WL&t=72). You can manually set it to 1:12 in the video embedded below as well. It’s just too bad that the “t” parameter doesn’t work when embedded. She seemed very comfortable with the performance, possibly aware also of many like her in her circle.

Here’s the second part of the concert video.

Chinese women are generally much more linguistically talented than Chinese men. I hope they can show off more often. It comforts me when I know China still abounds and overflows in poetic genius.

In any case, ancient style bands are generally not professional enough yet. Singers still forget their words on the stage at times. They simply have to put more effort into it to even compete against other genres in China. I know the problem lies in the fact that ancient style fans are way too passionate and forgiving, but I love their passion and have to blame the bands.

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A Night Mooring At The Maple Bridge

枫桥夜泊 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanshan_Temple)
by 张继 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Ji_(poet_from_Hubei))

月落乌啼霜满天
江枫渔火对愁眠
姑苏城外寒山寺
夜半钟声到客船

my personal translation
A Night Mooring At The Maple Bridge
by Zhang, Ji

Crows call at moonset in the chill of night.
With woods and lamps afar is me afloat,
Yet next to Gu-su, Han-shan Temple sounds
Its bell in waves to wake me in my boat.

Han-shan Temple, or Cold Mountain Temple (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanshan_Temple), is a very well-known historical building in China, near Gu-su, now Su-zhou.

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Leaving Bai-di At Dawn

早发白帝城 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidicheng)
by 李白 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Bai)

朝辞白帝彩云间
千里江陵一日还
两岸猿声啼不住
轻舟已过万重山

my personal translation
Leaving Bai-di At Dawn
by Li, Bai

At dawn I left from Bai-di still in clouds.
The trip’s a day a thousand miles too nigh,
And while macaques scream endlessly on cliffs,
My boat has passed a hundred mountains high.

The short form was really meant for beginners in Tang poetry. What do you want more? Unfortunately, it was rather popular among Tang poets. Adults want to be lazy, too.

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Rambling On Retirement

回乡偶书
by 贺知章 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Zhizhang)

少小离家老大回
乡音无改鬓毛衰
儿童相见不相识
笑问客从何处来

my personal translation
Rambling On Retirement
by He, Zhi-zhang

I’m home again ev’n though I left when young –
My hairs be white, my accent’s still the same.
The children see me yet do know me not
And so in smile they ask from where I came.

There is also “Rambling On Retirement II”. Well, next time.

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A Spring Morning

春晓 (https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%98%A5%E6%99%93)
by 孟浩然 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Haoran)

春眠不觉晓
处处闻啼鸟
夜来风雨声
花落知多少

my personal translation
A Spring Morning
by Meng, Han-ran

A morning’s sweet in spring,
With birds in trees to tell,
But in a night of storm,
How many flowers fell?

Even preschool children know this poem in China.

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A Night On The Jian-de River

宿建德江
by 孟浩然 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Haoran)

移舟泊烟渚
日暮客愁新
野旷天低树
江清月近人

my personal translation
A Night On The Jian-de River
by Meng, Han-ran

I near an isle in mist,
My grief at night to be –
Plain’s vast, with sky on woods;
Stream’s clear, with moon to me.

The poem was best known for its “sky on woods” and “moon to me”.

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Moonlight Blade

This is the first Chinese video game with acceptable computer graphics. Even then, I will not be playing, just because it is still not good enough for my taste. However, it already wowed a foreign player so much that he absolutely wanted to introduce it to the Western world. See the video below.

In fact, he couldn’t even believe that the weather effects could be so detailed and smooth on his poor video card, like never seen before even among the best Western video games. It is a sign of a truly innovative algorithmic breakthrough happening in the Chinese software development world. Now, I know what the best Chinese software developers are working on, because for years or even decades they couldn’t even make their own operating system. Yes, it is about time for the best 3D Internet operating system to come out of China, which runs on our existing hardware and infrastructure. There’s simply no excuse. I know it can be done, but somebody has to really do it. Since it is an Internet operating system, computer security will be its top priority, so there’s that potential to elevate Chinese national defense along the way of software revolution. The market is huge. The problem with the Chinese digital world is that everyone thinks that China is big enough for them. There’s simply no plan to expand beyond China. No software is ready for multilingual support though technology is ready to compete with the best of the West. Here is just another random video showcasing the game in China, everything in Chinese.

The major complaint about the lack of a truly open world and realistic physics in Moonlight Blade really has to be addressed. I understand how upsetting it is to see my horse running on lava without any protection. A truly open world will definitely add realism to the game, where I can explore its virtual world without any limit. There can be areas under construction, like a small village becoming a small town and eventually a big city. Both construction and demolition can happen in a continuously developing virtual reality. After all, gamers prefer a dynamic world instead of a static world. They want a game that evolves with them as they keep on playing.

It’s getting there. There will be a virtual planet on which we can do urban planning, home modeling, vacation or even wedding planning and literally everything before we secure a purchase or an investment, whether you are a government or an individual, all of these running on a Chinese 3D Internet operating system. Well, at least I hope so.

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