Sun, Dec 21, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Matthew Lien plans New Year’s dawn concert on Alishan

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, second left, attends the opening of a 500m bike route yesterday in front of the Taipei Water Park.

PHOTO: CNA

World musician Matthew Lien will hold a sunrise concert on Alishan (阿里山) on Jan. 1 to promote environmental awareness.

In an interview with the Central News Agency, Lien said that holding the concert in an area where precious animals and rare plants could still be found was “the best way” for the audience to “think about the natural environment and cultures that we live with in this world.”

Amid the global economic downturn, Lien said it was more important to focus investment and government attention on environmental degradation, as it was “far more serious and will have far greater impact than our economy.”

That way, he said, “we could really do a lot to save, protect and revive our ecology in the world.”

Lien said the concert would take place as the sun rises, which he felt was “much more meaningful” than most year-end performances that begin late on New Year’s Eve to usher in the new year.

“The idea of opening a new year during a time when our Earth actually begins to warm up and rolls into the sun at the first moment of light is a timeless event,” he said, adding that this is what people have been celebrating for many generations.

Chung Fu-song (鐘福松), head of the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration, one of the concert’s organizers, said that Lien’s music would sit well with Alishan’s beautiful ecology and “provide a spiritual feast” for participants.

Alishan, one of the nation’s most popular mountain resorts, will be the scene of two concerts to ring in the new year. The first concert on Dec. 31 at the Alishan Tourist Service Center will feature a band, singers and the Hamowana Dancing Group from the Aboriginal Tsou Tribe.

The second concert will take place on Jan. 1 at the Jhushan Helicopter Apron — a favorite spot for tourists to watch the sunrise on Alishan — at the crack of dawn.

The Jan. 1 concert will feature performances by Lien, who will play from 7:20am to 8:20am, as well as the Ten Drum Art Percussion Ensemble.

The organizer said train services would be increased for the event and urged those hoping to stay on the mountain the night before to book rooms in advance.

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