Sunday, 25 August 2013


26th August 2013

Well, hi Readers,
       You must be wondering why I've named this blog The Titan. That, dear friends, and I hope there are some music lovers amongst you, is the name of Mahler's first symphony. I have just played it with the MANUKAU SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA here in Auckland on Saturday night and it will be a night to remember. It is an incredible work, in four parts, the longest being Part 4. It has all the passion and pathos of a truly great drama and for variety and pace, it outstrips Wagner's Ring Cycle or anything that Wagner wrote and I am a fan of the man.
       Let me tell you about the Manukau Symphony. It was formed 20 years ago (Saturday was our anniversary which was celebrated with wine and cake post-concert) and was named after Manukau City. Auckland at that time was divided into 4 cities, so spread out is it. But now we've gone back to being one and the mayor presides over more people than the Prime Minister can command as a third of the population lives in Auckland. It is also the most diverse, culturally and is the Polynesian city of the world, there being more Polynesians here than all over the South Pacific and most of them live in Manukau. However, the Polynesian aspect stops there as both the orchestral players and the audience are mainly Europeans or Asians (Chinese and Korean). But changing the name is difficult and we have built our reputation on it.
     Anyway, The Titan concert was magnificient. We had a full hall and the audience leapt up and gave us at least a ten minute standing ovation. So we twenty years, we have finally come of age. We now play to packed halls and with each concert, we go up a notch, having done Rachmaninov's piano concertos, Tchaikovsky's several symphonies, Elgar, Beethoven, etc. in all their glory.
      To having blown my trumpet on behalf of my orchestra, I shall continue giving a report about my literary work. At this time A CHINESE ODYSSEY: THE MING ADMIRAL has been  edited and I am in the process of making the corrections. While the editing was being done, I carried with THE CHINESE DIASPORA: A LIFE DIVIDED which is now nearing the end. This third part of the book covers the Chinese Labour Corp in the First World War in the trenches of France. I'm sure this is news to many of you because that war basically involved Britain, France and Germany though Turks and Anzacs were also heavily involved. But over 140,000 Chinese were shipped and trained there to be coolies and they leave their graves in various parts of France and Belgium. The Ming Admrial will be out by Christmas. Now I haven't time to continue with the short story series which will continue asap. Ciao Everybody.

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