Kamara | Silkroad to China Trade Mission Travel Report

Author Kasper Kwant

Dec 18, 2017

Day 1: Tokyo Japan 17-11-2017 

The team had a direct flight from Amsterdam to Tokyo. When we landed in Tokyo we first went on the metro to go to our location at Avalone Cove, not far from Harajuku Station. We went to Harajuku station to visit several locations in the city. One of the highlights for us was a electronic music hardware store with much vintage synthesizers, such as the TR909 and the MS20. When in Tokyo you have to try Sushi, so before we went to do business we stayed at a very nice local restaurant to eat wonderful Sushi. After dinner we went to Club Vent, one of the well known nightclubs Tokyo has to offer to visit our contact named Sho Fujino. He is a big contact for Ultra Music Festival. One of the biggest festivals on the planet, a much beloved location for Orkestra.

Day 2: Shanghai China 18-11-2017

We arrive in Shanghai by a direct flight from Tokyo. In Shanghai we had a very tight schedule:

  • Various photoshoots on many locations in the large city

  • Meet up with Oytun Ergun, one of the owners of Club Celia, also to setup contacts for Alfa Bier.

  • Dine with him to discuss business

  • Visit Club Arkham

  • Meet MIAA (Chinese DJ which we booked for Metamorphosa in Arnhem)

  • Visit Club Elevator with MIAA

  • Go to (after) Club Celia to do our first Kamara live performance of the tour. Kamara performed a 4 hour live set.

  • Back to hotel to get only a few hours of sleep to be ready for the flight to Wuhan and the start of the trade mission next day.

Day 3: Wuhan China 19-11-2017

Our team arrives at Wuhan Airport. There was a contact ready for us at the Airport, which guided us towards the bus. In the bus other representatives of the trade mission companies where waiting to complete the group. When the group was complete we travelled by bus to the hotel, having nice conversations along the way with the trade delegation.

The team checked in at the Marco Polo hotel. Opening dinner in the Beijing hall of the hotel with the whole delegation group during an official table session, opened by Michiel Scheffer. After the official session, we got invited by Wubbo Mossing Holsteijn to visit the local JZ jazz club, where we had pleasant conversations with the representatives of the trade mission companies of Gelderland, a nice way to get to know the group.

Day 4: Wuhan China 20-11-2017

The day started with breakfast with delegation on the 34th floor where the hotel lounge is located. The official morning briefing was at the lounge so everybody could plan the day.

Our team planned to visit locations in the Wuhan city for our Orkestra project. Besides that we wanted to shoot video and pictures of the trade mission, the hotel and the surroundings.

We started with the DJI drone which Menno brought with him. We filmed the Marco polo hotel and the surroundings at the Wuhan Bund.

After the drone shoot we went our in the city to visit our first location: Wuhan Asia Europe Logistics Co., Ltd. AE Bar & Restaurant, which was close to the hotel. This is the location for the opening party of the belt.
A brief meet and greet with GM Wang Lei and his team of four.

Then travelled around Wuhan to visit the following locations:

• Wuhan Theater
• Hubei Theater (also inside)
• Qintai Concert Hall

All these are possible locations to do the shows for the Orkestra project. Next up we went to the Yellow Crane tower for photoshoot, and visited Yellow Crane tower for a Kamara photo shoot.
Also Marc was setting up meetings with contacts of live houses and club venues in Wuhan to visit the next day.

In the evening we had Dinner with entire group in the administrative district (Hubei). It was a very nice large dinner hall with private area where we could dine with the whole group.

After the dinner we went to the Hotel by bus. De-briefing with the entire group at the Hotel on the 34th floor. Our team made the planning for the next day. Also we had a call with Ivo Schalkwijk of About Asia to discuss the Metamorphosa “the best 50M2” Dutch Days project.

Day 5: Wuhan China 21-11-2017

The day starts with breakfast at 07:00 in hotel on the 34th floor.
Today we separate our group, Menno joins the province for the official opening of the railroad of WAE while Kamara and Marc have as main mission today to meet Lute Brommer, he can potentially be our key contact in the Province of Hubei for starting/setting up the Orkestra project.

Later that day we meet up at the lunch location of WAE and join the trade delegation again.

  • Kamara and Marc went by taxi to Children's Palace
  • First Orkestra meeting: "Children / Youth" with Lute Brommer 09:30
  • The leader of the Ministry of Education Wuhan guided us inside the concert building. On this day, more than 100 youth and children's orchestras rehearse. We attended various performances of children's orchestras and recorded audio + video for the Orkestra project.

Our original planning was to go to the WAE container location, however, by attending the concerts it was no longer possible for us to meet at the lunch location. We contacted the province using WeChat, to join the group at the next location (the official railroad opening at WAE). Despite our attempts to get information where the opening was planned, we did not get the information on time, so unfortunately we had to miss this part. We agreed to meet the trade delegation at official opening of Dutch Days, at the Jackson Museum of the Wuhan University.

We’ve got to the Jackson Museum by Taxi where we met up with the trade delegation group.

At 16:00 pm the opening at Wuhan University (Jackson Museum) started. Michiel Scheffer helt a very professional speech about the beautiful collaboration between Gelderland and Hubei. The Dutch Days are presented by About Asia and all the projects were highlighted, including the Metamorphosa Best 50m2 project which is curated by Kamara.

After the Dutch Days opening Marc and Kamara had a tight schedule existing of:

• Meeting with the owner and program-manager of Vox Live house Wuhan
• Dinner with Vox team and discuss about possible tour in all Vox locations (Four cities in China)
• Meeting at the people of Club Prison Wuhan for collaborations.

After our meetings we went back to the hotel and had a conference call with Michiel Roosje of About Asia. We made proper preparations for our next day at Dutch Days, because he told us the group of students was 5 times as large as expected for our Kamara masterclass at Dutch Days.

Day 6: Wuhan China 22-11-2017

Our day starts at the “Fine Arts” location of the Wuhan University.
At 09:00 there is a kick off meeting with all the students and About Asia. The idea is to create a creative 50m2 living space, mini festival with art and electronic music. First we meet up with Ivo to discuss our idea’s about the whole day.

At 10:00 we start our DJ lessons in groups for students. Explaining step by step how to DJ, we also had some culture clashes with the students. For example knobody new what kind of music this was and never heard about Vinyl. The original plan was to teach 12 students, we had to change our plans because there were over 90 students in groups.

Menno was with us to make video and photo using his drone.
The student group was divided in two groups: “create guerrilla art” and “dj lessons”. We switched all day and it was really nice to teach Chinese students about electronic music and DJ-ing. It was a open space so people from all over the city visited our 50m2 space.
Marc is busy setting up appointments for tomorrow, one of our most important days to come.

After the DJ-lessons Kamara played a live performance at the street and a mini festival was happening. Most people film everything by using mobile phones, little children started to dance. After we wrapped up the Wuhan TV joined us for an interview.

We went back to the hotel area to have dinner at a local Korean restaurant. The group discussed the planning for the rest of the week.

We had a rendezvous with the trade delegation group and went to the lounge on the 34th to share the experiences of the day with several people of the trading delegation. Kasper and Ralph also talked about our IT companies WebIQ/VertillinQ and Four Digits. We exchanged business cards with the other Gelderland companies. Menno was busy processing the beautiful footage he shot that day.

Day 7: Wuhan China Thursday 23-11-2017

In the morning Marc goes on a trip to Changsha by bullet train.
Ralph started in the morning to do the opening briefing with Menno. We planned to do more photo-shoots on special locations in the Wuhan area before we went to visit Lute Brommer today. Unfortunately we had to postpone this because Kasper was not well (flu).

To prepare the meeting with the management of the art ensemble, Ralph created a Keynote presentation about Orkestra using footage we made during the trip. It described the Orkestra project and why it is very interesting for the university.

Kasper joined us for the 30 minutes taxi trip to Wuhan railway station
We met Lute Brommer at the Railway station, had a small meeting and went by taxi to the Wuhan Science & Technology part of the University.

Presentation of Orkestra at the University

We had the meeting with the management of the art ensemble of the university. We did a presentation to the board, Lute translates realtime to Chinese. After the presentation we discussed about possibilities of the Orkestra project. In the beginning this was quite unclear but the idea’s actually went pretty “hands on” in a small amount of time.

Orkestra Near Future in Wuhan

The most important parts we’ve discussed:

  • Creative input from the students

  • Collaboration between Kamara and the university is very important.

  • All the work needs to be screened

  • Merging creative aspects

  • Party ideology must be incorporated in it

  • We get music from Lute that we can use as inspiration

  • 60.000 students come to this event

  • Possibile date: June 2018

  • Rehearsing for one week: preferably as little as possible

  • Every two years

  • Outdoor location: Library

  • Question: Is it possible to learn electronic music?, can that be done anywhere? Kamara?

  • Classical education in several places possible

  • To really start this, we need an official recommendation letter from the province of Gelderland to Hubei, which states this is a very positive collaboration and knowledge exchange project. Including official stamps and hand signed. This is very important. With official consent of the Hubei Government everything is possible the schoolboard stated.

After the presentation and discussion we are invited for the evening dinner. This is very special because they do not allow that anymore (Anti corruption law) We had leave dinner earlier than planned because we were invited to attend the repetition of the local orchestra with Lute Brommer.

All good things come to an end: Wrapping up

The repetition came to an end and we took the taxi back to the Marco Polo Hotel. We met up with the trade delegation. We shared our experiences and enthusiasm of the day.
Because the trade mission was coming to end we had a de-briefing / wrapping up session with Marieke Dijkstra, senior adviser international economy of province Gelderland, discussing our experiences, meetings and (near) future plans for the Orkestra Project. Also our team splits up: We say goodbye to Menno, which won’t be travelling with us to Shenzhen, but he will be leaving to The Netherlands.

Next day Marc, Kasper and Ralph go to Shenzhen, our final destination in this trip.

Day 8: Shenzhen 24-11-2017

Marc and Kamara travel to Shenzhen by plane. Picked up from the airport by driver to go to the hotel in Shenzhen. This was actually also a Marco Polo hotel.

Dinner in local restaurant
Peacock Club: Meeting with owner and local DJ Mantis.

Preparing / recharging for the final day. The final day of travel is going to be an extra long one filled with Orkestra meetings, possible sponsors and the grand finale: a Kamara live show at the well known Pepper Club.

Day 9: Shenzhen 25-11-2017 Meeting Ray Meng

This day we have a meeting with Ray Meng and his colleague Peter Lok Lee.
Ray is a investor in Shenzhen and is starting several businesses in the city. For Kamara and Orkestra he could be a very interesting new contact in China for financial support of the project. He is the owner of Club Pepper but is also starting:

• T-Park: A media building filled with audio and video studios,
• Mars: A live house,
• Vinyl House: A Vinyl based hotel close to the booming Tencent building / IT district

We went for a guided tour for various locations for Metamorphosa and Orkestra throughout Shenzhen.

Meeting Mai Music

At the office of Ray we had a business meeting with Yang. CEO of maimusic.cn Intro + Wind.Lv from muniaculture.com
They organise INTRO festival, one of the biggest festivals for electronic music for China. A perfect location for the Orkestra project.

During the meeting we had dinner. Marc held a presentation about AMS Bookings ASIA and his experience in China as a booker. Kamara presented the techno live show and the Orkestra project. Also we explained about our recent trade mission and meetings with the Wuhan University and Lute Brommer. After the presentation and dinner we went to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the final stage of this trip: our performance at the legendary Pepper Club. We meet up with the people of Maimusic at the club, because they were special guests.

Kamara arrives at the club, we had official interview and signing sessions just before our gig. There was a super atmosphere and we did a long liveset. After our set we had to go directly to the airport by taxi. Marc stays in Shenzhen a few extra days to setup more contacts for the project in China. Kamara travels from Shenzhen to Hangzhou, from Hangzhou to finally land in Amsterdam.

Looking back, to the future

We look back to all the positive moments, new opportunities, new collaborations and to launch Orkestra in China in the near future. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. In particular we would like to thank the Province of Gelderland. To be continued.

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H.R. Kwant 8 February 2018 15:38 Reply

super nice !!!

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