KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan—It was truly an unexpected change of emotion and attitude for a Taiwanese government official, who used to be skeptical about going to any musical performance. After seeing Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 2, however, he suddenly found himself a passionate enthusiast of classical music who had found, in his words, a new light in life.
“It was a tremendous spiritual feast,” said Hsiao Po-jen with a satisfactory smile after seeing the performance at Kaohsiung Normal University Performance Hall. He currently serves as a counselor at the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration, Executive Yuan, the executive branch of Taiwan’s central government.
Mr. Hsiao said he was surprised at how he had changed. But he had no doubt what he heard was simply great. “I felt captivated by the different melodies. They made me feel like I was one with heaven.”
He likened himself to a container: At the beginning of the concert, he was empty; but at the end of it, he was filled to the top. “After seeing this concert, I feel spiritually fulfilled. It seems to have offered people light and hope.”
Such hope was not just for any one individual or only those in the audience, according to Mr. Hsiao. He explained that hope was “offered to all mankind.”
There was much more than what met the eyes, or caught the ears, he said. The performance offered him a glimpse of what the world should really be like—filled with serenity and peace, and with people having hope and feeling secure.
There wasn’t a single moment of the performance that didn’t touch him, Mr. Hsiao said. He added, “Tears streamed down my face when watching the performance—I felt like I was being protected by some great power.”
“I felt blessed,” he added. In other words, many times in the performance, he had the sensation that his soul had been guided to a place of security and comfort.
As for why he was often choked up, Mr. Hsiao said, it had to do with the feelings the music imparted to him. “The music brought me a solemn feeling. And this solemnity originates from heaven and Earth. And it made me feel how insignificant human beings are, and how we wish to be embraced [by the divine].”
“So I had tears involuntarily streaming down my face.”
Free From Worry
Mr. Hsiao said he did have previous experiences with concerts, but he didn’t get much out of them. On the contrary, he was moved today because of what was behind the music—divinely inspired traditional Chinese culture—which he just took right in.
“I was so immersed in the music, and I felt elevated,” said Mr. Hsiao. “And then I was able to free myself, free from the nuances of everyday life.”
“It was just such a terribly satisfying feeling.”
He thought the performance was just perfect for him, with the blending of Taiwanese culture, traditional Chinese melodies, and Western classical music.
According to the company’s website, the orchestra is on the path to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through the blending of Eastern and Western musical traditions—putting together the erhu, Chinese violin, alongside Western woodwinds and strings.
Mr. Hsiao said he did something that he had never done before with any other concert—stand up voluntarily and shout the word “encore” with others in the audience at the end of the performance.
The orchestra eventually put on four additional pieces for the enthusiastic crowd.
“It was really an unforgettable experience.”
He recommended all people to see the performance themselves, saying “The music must come from heaven; you can hardly hear it on Earth.”
“You’ll regret if you don’t come,” he said.
Reporting by Frank Fang and Sunny Chao
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.