The Story Behind the Song — Gong Xi by Allen Weber
The words “Gong Xi” mean Congratulations! in Chinese. Typcally they are shouted and said at Chinese New year festivities.
In Mandarin it is “Gong Xi Fa Cai!” Pronounced as Gong She Fa (a long long way to run :) ) Tsy”
Many Chinese friends
I have many Chinese friends. And one very special person who is Chinese. She is the one who taught me the Mandarin pronounciation.
Anyway, once I learned the correct pronunciation, I started to practice it. As I practiced it, I slowly began to say it as a chant. Once that happened I thought “Cool! This can make a great song”
The Full On Writing Begins
Once I had that chant down, as well as the timing, a Middle Eastern type melody popped into my head.
I began hearing that melody imposed over the “Gong Xi Fa Cai!… Gong Xi Fa Cai!… Gong Xi Fa Cai!… Gong Xi Fa Cai!”
So I figured that out on my guitar and recorded the chant as a bass line, and them played the melody over it. It Worked Just as I Imagined!
But playing that same melody over and over and the bass line over and over got boring fast… and I knew it had to go somewhere.
Bridge and Solo’s
I was listening to a lot of Latin music at the time, and heard some really powerful Cha cha cha’s and thought that would be fun to solo over.
Make it a really powerful slower tempo, and kind of rock it up. I also needed transitions between the intro melody line and the solo section.
Once I had the right tempo down, and the heavy feel, it was time to bring in a band to test it out. Some suggestions were made and tried, and finally I wrote the transition between the intro melody line and the solo section. And decided to use that as the transition between the different soloing instuments, when I finally added keyboards.
And Test We Did
I was working with two guys a bassist named Jack and a drummer named Rick when Gong Xi was written.
They picked it up right away. Just in time for a live performance.
So we went down to a club I had a booking at, and added this to the set list.
When we started the song, with the chanting… people in the audience looked at us like we were crazy. But once they got the idea they loved it.
When we finished, we could see a look of “What just happened? Whatever it was I loved it!” on the faces of the audience. About 5 seconds after the song ended, thye came out of their trance and started applauding, whistling and yelling &rlquo;Yeah! Yeah!”
Later with other musicians and finally the musicians used for the Allen Weber Hot Shock album, every single time we played this live people would get the same look. They would go into the same type of trance. They would also start dancing during the intro melody which is played over an almost reggae type beat. Though personally, I visualize a cartoon camel walking through the desert. That is what I thought of when I wrote the bass line 🙂
So now you know the story of Gong Xi
Get Gong Xi
You can get Gong Xi at wide variety of places.
cdBaby: Get Gong Xi either as a single, or better yet, get the whole physical cd which comes with downloadable songs as a bonus!
The Jazz Box Get the single
The Jazz Box Get the Hot Shock album in digital download
Also on iTunes do a search for “Allen Weber Hot Shock” you can get the single (mp3), or you can get the whole cd.
If you go to Amazon do a search for “Allen Weber Hot Shock” you can get the single (mp3), or you can get the whole cd. Either digitally or as a physical cd.
If you want to get in on the fun when Allen Weber and his Hot Shock Band is performing next, Use the link for your personal invite to the Hot Shock Newsletter so you never miss another event.
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