Songs of Serenity

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2008-04-22 16:07

New Age band Secret Garden is a favorite in China with its uplifting music of comfort and consolation in a harried age of striving, pressure and sometimes desolation. The good news is they are coming back, writes Michelle Zhang.

Deep in everyone's heart there is a "secret garden," a private place where one turns to get rid of sorrow and depression.

Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Lovland, co-founders of the Irish-Norwegian New Age band Secret Garden, believe such a place exists. Since they established the band in 1994, they have dedicated themselves to writing music that eases and comforts troubled minds.

The duo and their soothing tunes are no strangers to Chinese people having visited China three times since 1997. Now they are planning their fourth trip here and will perform at Shanghai Grand Stage on May 1.

"China has always been one of our favorite places (to perform)," says Irish violinist Sherry. "I was deeply impressed by the audience during our last performance in Shanghai in 2004. There must have been a lot of changes in the city in the past four years and I look forward to coming back soon."

Secret Garden's signature songs, such as "Nocturne," "You Raise Me Up" and "Poeme," are performed in many places, especially in the gyms and yoga studios around China. A more recent tune, "Searching for the Past" from their 2004 album "Earthsongs" was used by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai in his award-winning film "2046." Many of their pieces are the theme songs in popular TV series in Asia.

According to Sherry, in addition to signature pieces, they will premiere some newly adapted Chinese pop songs by Lovland, including "Qing Zang Gao Yuan" ("Tibetan Plateau"), which they call "absolutely beautiful."

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