Heapsong 5 Locations / Descriptions

Fishing out a treasure map (our journey) at the West lake with Veronica playing Pipa - The mountain and flowing water
Fishing for fish has happened here for millennia but is not illegal. it is still seen often in the midnight hours but perhaps not like this (and of course, this is legal, we think). The West Lake is the true heart of the city.

20xTaxis shining their headlights to create a stage for skateboarders practicing on empty streets. The taxi drivers are eating late night food.
Late night food for taxi men is a regular occurrence in the city, as is skateboarding. Food is a huge part of Hangzhou life. They are BIG into their food and there is so much variety and mostly to a very high and delicious standard!

Taxi with Zyang Yi Yang, discussing Hangzhou and the project. Also live blogging, taking questions from anyone who calls in. Join in! Call in Chinese or English. The night of the city in lights. Taxi driver drops us off and the cameras follow the taxi driver home.
Zyang Yi Yang is a talented potter. We discuss Hangzhou and will answer questions while in the cab for anyone who wants to talk about Hangzhou life! This was his idea and I loved it. Here I wanted us to get vistas of the city at night (minus the traffic) as we end the taxi man's day and begin a new with the City Express paper. Please call in and ask us questions. Link will be up soon.

We see the City Express newspapers being printed with our story in it! A dancer, Liu Yingmei from the Songcheng production improvises in and out of the machines in bright red against the blues and greens of the print factory.
This was the first idea that came to mind as I on my first night in Hangzhou I saw oddly, the Swedish national ballet in town. The concept of the flow of dance and the mechanical repetitiveness of the machines lit me up and let me on a trail for the other moments.

We visit City Express reader Wang as she prepares and opens her shop for the day's business at Huanbei market. Capturing all the other shops as they open their shutters. Wang' s shutter is being painted by CAA (China Academy of Art) student Hu Na‘s team who are depicting a scene of the shop owner inside her shop.
Our first meeting with a reader who responded to one of the articles in the paper. A lot of these moments really flowed from the response we had. I hardly forced any of these ideas into the project. It was as if Hangzhou was speaking to us!

Outside the CAA front entrance near West Lake, a street cleaner sweeps the streets. The litter and leaves collected is then pieced together into the shape of the Academy's logo on a huge canvas. Hopefully the street cleaner will get involved!
The street cleaners in their bright orange uniforms are all over the city and keep it immaculate. It was one of the first things I noticed in Hangzhou against the green of nature everywhere. They often sweep the streets with big brushes made of twigs. I love the idea that their work is turned into an art piece in front of their eyes and perhaps with their hands too!

Sunrise at Baoccu Temple as City Express reader Shen Yaoxing does his morning exercises. Also capturing the sound of the bird that wakes me up in the morning.
Again, led by a reader. We had to catch the sunset. I have yet to visit the hill where the temple is but I hear it's a sight to be seen! So this one is part tourism for me! I really have to catch the sound of that bird also! I'm hoping there's one in a nearby tree!

Breakfast scenes at Gu Lou while I'm being interviewed by the Hangzhou Dialect TV news host Weng Renkang to be aired later on at 9pm.
Food asI said is a huge part of enjoyed daily life, though often raced through (like most of us) at breakfast. i learn a spot of the Hangzhou dialect while munching on my food, talking about my experiences with the host.

Myself and the group of CAA students who have been very much involved with the project, ride around town promoting their class wearing matching jackets and coloured flags on their bikes. The camera crew capture some of the city scenes as we pass by and I give bike cam view!
Cycling! I LOVE cycling around Hangzhou! It had to be in the film. Just adore whizzing through the city exploring it's many streets and landscapes. Also really wanted to show everyone watching the film all the students who'd been involved. This is something they do every now and then to promote their school.

We visit Dajing Zongbeng at work as she builds traditional Zongbeng beds. Meanwhile the CAA students have a bed made up for anyone who'd like to come and take a picture of them 'sleeping' in one on the pavement. The photographs will be uploaded to my website at the heapsong5 photo wall.
Joe took me to meet this lady who took a little persuading to get involved! She's super hard working and hammering away with heavy tools, creating these traditional beds. The sounds made when she weaves through the threads to make the base of the bed. We want to help her promote the beds around town so we are going to get the public in to take photos inside one with covers on it.

Daomaoxiang Primary school, class 2 as they perform their daily eye exercises. The school are trying out some new techniques that as yet don't have any music! The school also has a harmonica choir so here I conduct a small group of 5 students as Helena counts the class into time for their eye exercises. We are live music accompaniment. Later this will be turned into an actual piece of music that they can use for future classes out of the recording.
Here again, something I really wasn't expecting! A school of children who play the harmonica regularly. They have won many awards. i made a call out to the city express readers to find a class who'd like to show us their regular daily eye exercises (every single student in China does this every day of their school life!) and this is what came back! i didn't expect to have a harmonica choir to be in the song but … it's going in!

Choir from Aiyuetianshi school join me on a public bus to surprise the passengers with some songs. We will also improvise some choral music in the pentatonic scale in Bb.
Always fancied the idea of a choir stepping on to a bus to unsuspecting passengers! Found a great bunch of singers to improvise with for the vocals going into the song who also responded to the City Express callout!

We arrive at the Meander Tree hotel for lunch. A big red chinese drum is being played in the connecting tea fields by an actor/ musician who is wearing his clothing from the Zhejiang Peking Opera.
This is where I'm staying in Hangzhou. It's cute and not fussy with tons of charm. Had to get some tea fields in but without going too far out the city for time reasons. This is perfect! Wanted to get some drums in there too ever since I saw one at Veronica's school sport's day my first day in Hangzhou.

At a construction site by the river Qiantangjiang. A group of ladies perform a graceful dance amongst the ongoing work with their parasols.
Construction is everywhere in the city. More so than others specifically as they are building an underground train network. The grace of these wonderful ladies against the grey mess of construction will really look stunning I think. Also the old tradition holding it's place in the face of fast paced urban development.

14.00 (13.40)
We gather for the tide on a Fu Xing bridge, unravelling coloured silk scarves that release thousands of leaves over the edge forming a leaf waterfall to greet the river's waters below. Come and join in! Please be there for 13.20 with a silk scarf and some autumn leaves or just yourself if you don't have time. We'll have something for you.
The tide is a daily rhythm. Nature's carrying on regardless and has done for millennia on this river. It's a magnificent sight middle of october when it reaches many metres high! Autumn's remains are everywhere and so the people create a human nature wave of silk (hangzhou's largest export for many years and a major reason for the incredible grand canal to reach here, thousands of miles from Beijing) and leaves to mimic the river's own below.

On the West Lake with the Hangzhou canoe team practicing racing along the Su Causeway as Lin Zaisou performs Italian opera from the shore.
The lake in the day has to be seen. It's a sight copied by many other cities around the world to try to match it's beauty. There are many tourist boats on the lake but perhaps more interesting is the canoe team in their bright red 'Hangzhou' waistcoats. Plus I wanted an excuse to get on the water with my gopro camera! Meanwhile, a rather handsome Chinese man with an incredible voice we discovered while visiting the primary school sings on the Su Causeway, a pedestrian walkway over 1km long along the water.

At Jingci temple to capture me and other people ringing the bell for the sound of the 10ton bell. Tan Zidong a maker of the Guqin instrument, plays the piece **** outside with a backdrop of the temple roofs and the sunset over the hills.
Here is one of the original 10 scenic spots in Hangzhou. Actioned on imperial order in the 17th century as the Emperor at the time (sorry name escapes me as I now have 1 hour before we have to leave with no sleep!) adored the lake so much as created short 4 character poetic descriptions of the scenes. They were carved into huge stone plinths all around the lake. Evening Bell at Nanping Hill is one of the original 10. The bell (without traffic noise) would have been heard all around the lake. Tan Zidong will play the Guqin, which he made to the sound and for the sunsetting. This will be incorporated into the song. He is one of only 2000 Guqin players in the world. This instrument has been around for 3000 years!

To the night market to see a young entrepreneur, Alina, selling her different patterned contact lenses to customers as her sister poses in 9 different pairs for fashion photographer Wangcai to capture.
A reader called 'Ting' got in touch to introduce her friend Alina. A successful young entrepreneur shows us her night job at the bustling night market which is also a big exciting part of Hangzhou's daily life where you can find all kinds of nice things (like a fascinator mini scottish beret for instance, which I bagged)

Traffic Jam standstill at Qingchun Road. City Express reader Zhang waves a gigantic chinese flag on an empty road bridge, closed until 7pm for safety as the weight of the traffic is too much for it's foundations.
Traffic is sometimes horrendous in this city as cars take over from bicycles and the city's streets bulge with the impact. Wanted to have something flowing to accompany it for the drivers stuck at a standstill! Thankfully the brilliant Zyang got in touch. Wait until you see his moves! His energy is infectious!

Dinner with our Italian opera singer's family while the 7 year old Tiantian paints the scene with coloured crayons. She is an artist beyond her years.
As life gets busier and busier here family and food often don't come together (and with me too!). Here though a family has invited us in to experience a home cooked meal. I bought in a gifted child painter to paint the fading occurring in a bight coloured crayon drawn scene.

Disco dancers under the lights of the Hangzhou Tower are showered with bubbles blown over them by a crowd of volunteers.
This is wonderful! All over the city after dark, older ladies take the street stage and dance away to the sound of chinese pop hits. In the light of the street lamps we watch them enjoy themselves and hopefully even more as we shower them in reflective bubbles!

At the city Express newspaper's office as employees write tomorrow's paper. The amps go on and Joe (who has been with me from the start, piecing this all together and introducing me to so many wonderful people along the way) plays electric guitar, joined by Roy (also been helping out) on drums and Li Ben Xian on bass (also from the City Express paper). This is the main 'rock riff' for the song. In TVs around the office the Hangzhou Dialect Daily 9pm news will have me at breakfast chatting to their host.
So wanted to get Joe into the film! I saw him play with his band in town and he plays some mean electric guitar. We'll bring in some bright lights and big amps and the office will never be the same again!

Wang Dongling's house. Here we see the world renowned and respected contemporary calligrapher in his favourite part of the day at his home. Here he practices the tradition of many scholars thousands of years before him, copying the ancient characters from stone carvings. He also will write out for us the 4 characters that will be the title of the song and of the film.
I met Wang Dongling at an opening of his exhibition in Hangzhou and asked him if he'd please get involved. he said yes and so was the first official participant! Calligraphy is one of the 4 ancient arts scholars were expected to master along with Chinese painting, the Guqin (a traditional chinese instrument) and Poetry. He is a permanent resident of Hangzhou and has taken me out to dinner where I ate sea slugs, which were actually quite nice.

The finale! Under a bridge as Badminton players are active in their game. One by one, coloured balloons enter the game until all of us involved are in the court, hitting balloons back into the air. We all have a drink and congratulate each other on what I am sure will have been a completely magical and unforgettable day!
I cycled past this spot on my second evening in the city. it's just an amazing looking place in all it's strip lighting and concrete. Here It really dawned on me how the people of Hangzhou get creative in their use of public space. Every corner is put to good use! Visually really great place to have our finale though we may be a bit cold but a few games of balloon badminton should sort us out!