Our family band “Tu & Only” (杜ㄧ無二）performed three times this month for various Chinese New Year festivities. To get a glimpse of my DD’s (12 and 15) current colloquial fluency and accent, at least on a scripted level, you can listen to their introductory remarks at the beginning of the first video. They do speak Chinese at home with each other about 80% of the time, at least when I am around. When they say things incorrectly in Chinese or don’t know how to say certain things in Chinese, I do my best to correct them and then ask them to repeat it a few times. Since I left Taiwan after fifth grade, not infrequently do I have to look up things I don’t know how to express in Chinese as well. We then learn to say it together. These are normal part of our lives and the girls don’t get mad at me for doing so.
I learned to play the bass guitar (very badly though) a year ago so that I can play along with the girls. Then, I got busy at work and haven’t practiced much. A few months ago, I decided to learn to play the drum (also very badly….) and let DD#2 play some of the bass. I learn just enough to get by.
We performed four songs at a Chinese New Year celebration in Atlanta this past Sunday. There was a crowd of probably 250-300 people with standing room only. Here is their introductory remark and first song, 朋友 (Friends) by 周華健. (I missed a few notes. Sigh…..)
The next video is DD#2 singing 楊培安‘s 「我相信」 (I Believe).
Our third song was better recorded from an evening church performance the day before. It is 流星, the Chinese version of “Yellow” by Coldplay, one of the theme songs in the movie “Crazy Rich Asian” last summer.
The last song is the classic CNY song 恭喜恭喜 by 陳歌辛. You can listen to their closing remarks at the end of the video.
Our band is getting better with each performance over the past year, though we still need to squeeze in vocal lessons in the future. A major local Chinese school troupe just asked us to collaborate with them in the future! Not bad for the end of our first year! Our family band has certainly brought the family even closer and has given us more things to talk about, in Chinese of course!
Happy Chinese New Year!!