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Crossing the musical spectrum

Updated: 2023-10-14 16:33 ( China Daily )
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The concert's conductor Jin Yukuang.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Standing in front of the China Philharmonic Orchestra at the Poly Theater in Beijing on Sept 26 and singing songs blending jazz and classical music, 24-year-old singer-songwriter Laufey Lin Jonsdottir, with Laufey as her stage name, who is half-Icelandic and half-Chinese and known domestically as Lin Bing, gave her first concert on the Chinese mainland.

Playing guitar and cello, Laufey performed about 20 songs, including Let You Break My Heart Again, Beautiful Stranger and Bewitched. Their sonic landscapes, which portray moments of everyday life, have gained Laufey a global following since she started releasing songs online during the pandemic.

"I am not nervous about this first concert on the Chinese mainland. I am more nervous about wearing high heels onstage. I don't want to fall over," the young singer-songwriter told China Daily, a few hours before her concert in Beijing.

After touring the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, she finally had the chance to perform for Chinese fans.

"The rehearsals with the China Philharmonic Orchestra have been incredible," she says. "And it just feels special to be back in Beijing again."

Laufey's grandfather, Lin Yaoji (1937-2009), a well-known violinist himself, is credited with teaching many other violinists.

"Because lots of my grandfather's students are in the orchestra, it feels like his music is running through them," she says. "It's definitely running through me."

Lin Yaoji died when Laufey was 9 years old but her memories of him are vivid. She describes her grandfather as a very lively person.

"I have been told that I am very similar to him", she says. "He was a musical genius and he did it all out of love for the art. He loved singing, dancing and teaching violin. He also loved jazz.

"People who are new to my music can expect an escape and a different time. A lot of my fans are young and are going through difficulties at school and in friendships, and suffering heartbreaks. I hope my music provides a way to escape those sad times, and brings them somewhere really beautiful."

Growing up in Iceland and now living in Los Angeles, Laufey used to visit China for a few months every summer to study piano and cello. This is the first time she has returned to Beijing since the pandemic.

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