In addition to their similar historical importance, industrial achievements, latitude, and topography, as a result of the June 28-29 online dialogue, people from Detroit and Shenyang discovered a new common thing their cities share: music and famous singers. We played the music of Aretha and Marvin Gaye to our Shenyang friends. And they introduced to us Ai Jing, the Shenyang-born singer that was a household name in the 90’s, mainly for her song: 1997. And then we learned that a Shenyanger will for sure be frowned upon by their fellow residents if they don’t know the song: Shenyang, oh, Shenyang, My hometown.

One of the dialogue attendees, Mr. Wang Taili, a Shenyang native and a passionate music lover wrote an essay after our meeting about how music has connected the three cities he has lived in Shenyang, Beijing, and Chicago, and Detroit, a new attraction with a great music tradition and music scene he had just discovered:

The world-renowned conductor Mr. Seiji Ozawa was actually born in Shenyang. In 1994, he returned to Shenyang to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of the Liaoning Province to play Symphony No. 9 by Dvorak. No doubt, this New World Symphony connects Shenyang and Detroit at another level. The two episodes below are an interview of Mr. Ozawa on his connection with China, especially Shenyang, his birthplace, 69 Xinkai Street, to be more specific.

You don’t need to be able to read Chinese, the music and the images Taili includes in the post will give you the feel how music is a common language that overcomes barriers and how communication brings you new discoveries, beyond the space where you are.

Let’s enjoy the music by Detroit and Shenyang singers: