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Perfect combination

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-03-09 09:05

The decision to pick rock singer-songwriter Liang Long to do the music for his latest film has paid off for filmmaker Ning Hao.

When Chinese filmmaker Ning Hao invited rock singer-songwriter Liang Long to write the movie soundtrack for his new movie, Crazy Alien, last summer, he was taking a gamble.

"Have you written music for movies before?" Ning asked Liang. "Not much," said Liang, whose only previous experience was that he had written music for the indie movie, Youth, by director Geng Jun, about a decade earlier.

But Ning, intrigued by Liang, the frontman of the rock band, Second Hand Rose - which is known for its pioneering combination of traditional Chinese instruments, especially suona with rock music - persuaded the rock singer-songwriter to give it a try.

From Crazy Stone to No Man's Land, Ning has built up his unique style of directing or producing movies by using black comedy to examine social issues. And Liang's music also features similar humor, which has won the band a large fan base in the country since it was formed 20 years.

The collaboration turned out to be great.

Commercially, the movie, released on Feb 5, and has taken in more than 2.1 billion yuan ($313 million) at the box office to date.

The film is led by superstar actors Huang Bo, Shen Teng and Xu Zheng, who are big box-office draws.

While the holiday is a peak season for the movie industry, film music also enjoys a boost during this period. Movie soundtracks from eight popular movies screened during the Spring Festival break, have been streamed over 100 million times, according to statistics from the three music platforms of Tencent Music Entertainment Group: QQ, Kugou and Kuwo, which have more than 800 million users.

The theme song - which has been viewed over a million times online - has the same title as the movie. It is written and performed by Liang, and was released on Jan 25.

Liang - who is the movie's music director - also wrote and performed songs like Tricking The Monkey, Soft Alien, as well as an adaptation of the classic music piece, German composer Richard Strauss' symphonic poem, Also sprach Zarathustra, from the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey - with traditional Chinese musical instruments - for the movie.

On Feb 19, a compilation of music from the movie was released as the album titled Crazy Alien.

Speaking about the reaction to his music for the film, Liang, 40, who was born in Qiqihar city, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, says: "I took my parents to the cinema to watch the movie and they laughed just like the others when the music played, especially the song, Crazy Alien. That's what I aimed for."

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