Chapter 392: Going Onstage!
In the dressing room.
Zhang Yuanqi and Zhang Xia had left, and so Zhang Ye had nothing to do also. He walked out and circled around the lobby. He could not return home as he still needed to supervise after the companion track was produced. The Heavenly Queen had specially exhorted him before leaving. Hai, so what if I don't leave. I'll help you to the very end.
"Who is this?"
"Why is he so free?"
"Eh, he looks familiar. Isn't, isn't he Zhang Ye?"
"Zhang Ye? I don't know him."
"He's a host. He's quite popular these days."
"Hey, it's really Zhang Ye. Why is he here? Does he have a program?"
"Let's just worry about ourselves first. It will be our program's turn soon. Stay sharp and don't make any mistakes."
Suddenly, Zhang Ye saw a person. He looked like he was in his twenties too. He was very young and had small eyes. He was very handsome. Zhang Ye recognized him at a glance that he was the Korean idol singer, Lee Anson. He was being interviewed by a reporter. He said a bunch of Korean that Zhang Ye did not understand. This man was one of the reasons why Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi could not appear at the Spring Festival Gala, hence, Zhang Ye took a few more looks at him. He already didn't like him. He had a small nose and small eyes. Where did so many brainless fans, who liked him, come from? Actually no matter what Lee Anson looked like, Zhang Ye would still view him with animosity. Why? There was no need to ask why! The title of Professional Korean Insulter wasn't something he got for nothing!
Someone tapped him on the shoulder.
Zhang Ye turned around. "Hello?"
It was a female reporter. As they were not allowed to film or do audio recordings, she was holding a pen and a notebook. "Oh, it's really Teacher Zhang. Why are you here? You aren't appearing on the program. Oh, I understand. The 'Wishing We Last Forever' you composed for Zhang Yuanqi was removed from the show, so you are here to make another song for Teacher Zhang Yuanqi? Are there any results yet? Will Teacher Zhang Yuanqi be able to appear onstage at tonight's Spring Festival Gala?"
Zhang Ye was tight-lipped. "Sorry, I don't know either."
"Just give me a hint, Teacher Zhang." The female reporter insisted.
"I really do not know anything." Zhang Ye said a few words before leaving.
The female reporter could do nothing about it. After some thought, she wrote a title in her notebook. "'Wishing We Last Forever''s songwriter Zhang Ye mysteriously appears at Central TV's Broadcasting Studio 1. Heavenly Queen Zhang Yuanqi might have a new production".
He received Zhang Yuanqi's call, but the person who spoke was Zhang Xia instead. Clearly, the two of them were together right now. Two legends from the music industry were working together to create a song which they would sing as a duet together. Just the thought of that was very exciting.
Zhang Xia said, "Zhang'er, I will be getting Yuanqi to send a part of the accompaniment to you. My team and Yuanqi's team rushed to create this, so please give us your opinion."
Zhang Ye replied, "OK."
After he received the accompaniment, he listened to it in seriousness.
Finally, Zhang Ye commented, "I think it sounds a bit too flat, there's not enough instrumentals? A little too simple."
Zhang Xia considered for a moment, "Do you mean it should have more depth? That's not impossible, but the time we have...." At this time, someone beside said a few words before Zhang Xia continued to say, "Alright, we will keep working to improve it and try to perfect it. Zhang'er, do you have any other suggestions? It was written by you after all, so you should have the final word."
Zhang Ye did not know much about the technicalities of music production, but even so, what he had in his head was the original piece from his world. The accompaniment music was also a mature piece already. With the song having been covered by so many people before, it could be said that it had been slowly polished to its essence. He said to them, "The beginning few seconds when the melody starts, could you add some percussion to it? I don't really know what type of drums or whatever, but it's the kind where there's a very light hitting sound, then after that, when it moves into the main melody, you can change the part after that to be played on a piano......"
With that, 20 minutes had passed.
The Spring Festival Gala was holding its final rehearsal.
The participating actors and staff were all having their lunch or taking a break. They were all waiting for the final decision. Right until the end, no one would know if there would be any changes to the performance list. They could be taken out of the plan at any time and there were precedents of this happening before.
Soon, Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi came rushing back.
"You two are back?"
"Come on, we've already contacted the production team."
"I'm going too?"
"You're the composer, so of course you must go."
The few of them went upstairs as Zhang Ye followed along behind.
In a large conference room.
The Spring Festival Gala's Director Peng Yiyu was seated at the end while the rest were either standing or sitting down. They were all busy chattering and discussing about the various programs and timing issues.
Zhang Ye and company arrived. Peng Yiyu asked, "Auntie Zhang Ye is here? Please wait a moment."
An assistant director said, "As long as every program segment does not overrun by more than 3 seconds, there shouldn't be a problem."
Peng Yiyu said, "There are no problems on time."
"Right, as long as there are no unforeseen circumstances, we can guarantee it." said a female assistant.
Peng Yiyu was an ordinary looking middle-aged man. He was wearing old fashioned looking clothes, though not as old fashioned as Zhang Ye's father. If he were to walk around the streets, those who did not know him would have never thought that he was the director for this year's Spring Festival Gala. He was also one of the more famous directors of the Gala.
"So the existing program plans are just about set and there won't be any need for changes." Peng Yiyu said.
When Zhang Yuanqi heard this, she smiled and said, "Director Peng, you have forgotten about us again?"
Peng Yiyu looked over and smiled back, "How could I forget? Did your team create a new song? Alright then, let's have a listen to it." Whether it be his fame or qualifications, Peng Yiyu could not compare to these two people in front of him. One was a well known Heavenly Queen, the other was a veteran of the singing world. No matter how pretentious Peng Yiyu was, he could not ignore the two of them. At least on the surface, he was still very polite. He said, "Will Miss Zhang be singing first or Auntie Zhang?"
Zhang Xia smiled. "The two of us will be singing one song."
At this moment, the people from the directing team were stunned. "One song? The two of you are singing a duet?"
Zhang Yuanqi chuckled and said, "Director Peng said that this Gala has to be lively and we have to pave the way for young people, and so in consideration of that, Auntie Zhang and I have decided to sing a song together. It also can squeeze some time for the youths, giving them an opportunity to express themselves."
Peng Yiyu's eyes twitched. "Hur Hur, alright, I'll listen to the work first."
The Deputy Director, who had previously posted on Weibo, looked at them. He was thinking that if the two of them didn't go onstage, then wouldn't there be more time squeezed out for others!? We said your song wasn't suitable and that your bodies could not keep up were just perfunctory words, and you really believed it? You really produced a new song? The Deputy Director was shaking his head. How good could a song produced at the last minute be? Coming over was still meaningless for the two of you will definitely not have a chance to participate in this performance!
The other members of the directing team knew very well in their hearts. This Spring Festival Gala was in preparation of a drastic reform. Zhang Yuanqi and Zhang Xia's music was already out-dated!
Let's listen to it first.
Zhang Yuanqi did not stand on ceremony and smiled to a staff, saying, "Play the accompaniment." She then passed it to him. It was obvious that she was a great star in the entertainment industry.
The staff did not grumble and immediately did it right away.
Finally, Zhang Yuanqi said to him, "Thank you young lad. You sure are quick on your feet. Come to my company one day to work." It was not considered poaching in front of others as the Spring Festival Gala's directing team was only a temporary unit. They were all from different departments and companies, each from their own units.
When the staff member heard this, he was excited. "Thank you Sister Zhang. If you think so highly of me, I'll definitely work for you in the future."
The directing team had not been dissolved yet. What's the meaning of this? The Deputy Director was a bit speechless, but he did not speak a word. He did not want to offend Zhang Yuanqi either. Heavenly Queen Zhang had very good connections in the entertainment industry.
As the music played, everyone's feelings started to well up.
Zhang Yuanqi looked to Zhang Xia, "Auntie Zhang, let's just keep it simple?"
"There's no mic and no sound system. We have no choice but to keep it simple." Zhang Xia laughed. Then she pulled at Zhang Yuanqi and the both of them sat down gracefully.
The production team sat as they listened to the duo sing while sitting.
If it were any other celebrities, how would they dare to do it like this in front of Director Peng, but these two were Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi. Even if they were to lie down and sing, everyone would have to listen with respect.
"It's done." Zhang Yuanqi said.
That staff immediately played the accompaniment.
Seeing this, Zhang Ye also did not stand on ceremony. He found a place to sit himself down as well. Although he did not have a similar status to these two ladies, being unafraid to offend others was his special trait. Since Old Zhang had already sat down, then he would definitely sit down too. Who cared what the production team thought of him? Zhang Ye never felt the need to lower himself in front of others. And so, what Zhang Ye did also attracted the attention of a few of the assistant directors. They were all frowning.
Where did this person come from?
When everyone was distracted, Zhang Yuanqi suddenly began to sing.
At that moment, the production team members all had their attention pulled back to her voice. Slowly, everyone's eyes shone with amazement. They were all looking at each other in disbelief!
Peng Yiyu's eyes changed too!
Zhang Yuanqi had just finished her part, and Zhang Xia continued on!
Finally, the two ladies used their pitch perfect vocals to end the song!
At this moment, the assistant director wanted to curse. Sing it simply? How was this considered singing it simply? This was even without any sound processing and a lack of atmosphere, and they could sing it to this level? What if the effects and sound system were added? Then wouldn't it be heaven-defying? What's more, that song.....had stirred their souls despite having heard it for the first time! That sort of unhurrying pace, that confidence. It sounded like it was a fine rain, yet it also sounded like a sharp knife. It had left all sorts of marks on their hearts!
A female assistant almost went crazy from listening to it!
The others in the production team could not say another word either!
Zhang Xia said, "We are limited by the conditions here, so we couldn't perform our best. Please make do with it. Director Peng, is this song alright?"
Peng Yiyu immediately asked, "Was this composed by your team just now?"
Zhang Xia gave a smile and said, "My team is not that talented. This was done by Yuanqi's team. No, we can't even say it that way, because it was Yuanqi's friend who helped to compose this at the last minute." As she said this, she pointed to Zhang Ye, who was seated behind them, "I think you may have heard the name Zhang Ye before?"
Zhang Ye composed it?
Some had heard of him before and some had not.
Peng Yiyu said, "No wonder, so it's by the composer and writer of 'Wishing We Last Forever". I've also heard that the lyrics and melody for that song, which swept the country, was also composed on the spot."
Zhang Yuanqi asked, "What's the decision of this evaluation?"
Peng Yiyu stayed silent for a moment, then said, "The song is good, but I still feel the same way. I feel that it does not suit the mood of the Spring Festival Gala."
Zhang Xia looked at him, "Then according to Director Peng, what song do you feel suits this gala? Do you need us to compose a 'Spring Festival Gala', 'Song of Spring Festival Gala', 'Spring Festival Gala is Great', or maybe even 'The Spring Festival Gala of Director Peng Yiyu is the Greatest'? Maybe only a title like one of those would suit the mood?
The elderly could really be quite sarcastic!
With that jab from her, Zhang Ye was overjoyed just hearing it!
Peng Yiyu smiled bitterly, "Auntie Zhang, I know that you are unhappy, but don't scold me like that, I do not mean it that way. I just wanted to confirm the program schedule. The last rehearsal is already over and it won't be easy to adjust anymore."
Zhang Yuanqi smiled, "Auntie Zhang and I have also taken part in two rehearsals before, so we do not need much preparation and can just go on stage directly. That is not a problem. If we may be a little boastful, the two of us together have been on so many Spring Festival Galas, more so than any of the participants tonight, so Director Peng should trust our experience and capabilities. At least when it comes to me and Auntie Zhang, we won't have any hiccups."
Zhang Xia said, "We only need two minutes."
The assistant director stood beside Peng Yiyu. He said, "The timing won't be OK. If we squeeze in another performance, the whole schedule would be a mess. The both of you are also top artistes and started since young. Surely you'd know how difficult it is when you're young and new. It is now the world of the youngsters. In the future, it will also be their time. I believe you would want to be an example to them? Pave a way for young people?"
Not even two minutes?
Go f**k yourself!
Zhang Ye got more and more irritated listening to this. They were not finished as he suddenly spoke out, "It's no problem to pave the way for young people. I believe it is to pave the way for our juniors, Grandma Zhang and Sister Zhang would not say a word, but may I ask what country's New Year it is? Why must we pave the way for a Korean? Just because of a foreigner, you have pushed our own country's people to the back of your minds? Does that make sense!? I've seen the program list. The directing team has given Lee Anson three minutes for his song, but for our own people, to two veterans who have contributed so much to the Spring Festival Gala, not even two minutes can be given? I don't know what others think when they hear this, but I feel terrible. I speak very frankly and say whatever's on my mind. Youths are important, but what's the use if you are only young? Without the older generation's inheritance, without the beliefs and traditional heritage of the older generation, where would the youth go? How should youths proceed?"
The female assistant was the person who relatively understood Zhang Ye the most amongst the people present. She had heard Zhang Ye's speech, "Ode to Young China", but upon hearing what Zhang Ye said today, she nearly fainted! Your sister! What you said at Peking University was not like that! Didn't you say the old were like crashing celestial bodies? Didn't you say the old took opium? Go to hell! Why did you change what you said today!? The female assistant had long heard of Zhang Ye's foul temper and mood. And indeed after seeing him today, the rumors were indeed true!
Peng Yiyu was very unhappy. Did you have the right to speak here?
Zhang Xia asked, "Little Peng, so what is the outcome of your decision? Please tell us directly. We will accept whatever your decision is, so don't be too pressured. If everyone needs us, then we will sing. If they don't need us and the Spring Festival Gala doen't need us either, then Yuanqi and I will leave. We won't say a word anymore."
Don't be pressured?
Peng Yiyu felt even more stressed now!
If it were Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi's previous two songs, he could deal with it in his own way and there wouldn't be a problem, but right now, they had brought out an outstanding song that had left Peng Yiyu with a very difficult decision. He was already ready to go ahead without Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi's participation, but had not expected things to turn out this way. What the f**k is up with this Zhang Ye? Coming up with such a good song in such a short time?
The assistant director said nervously, "Director Peng?"
The conference room was so quiet that even a cough would echo.
One of female assistant directors suddenly said, "If this song does not make it onto this year's Spring Festival Gala, I think it would be a great pity. I would really like to see two of them appear on stage for a duet!"
Peng Yiyu stared at the female assistant director.
She did not notice him, but looked at Zhang Yuanqi and smiled. The two of them definitely knew each other.
At this moment, another staff member from the production team spoke. He looked to be the oldest among them. The old man said, "The Spring Festival Gala is not watched only by youngsters, and we still have to consider the middle-aged and elderly's thoughts. For the Korean celebrity, Lee Anson, we could shorten his performance time by a bit to around 2 minutes and that would be enough. With the remaining 1 minute, we can manage the other programs and put them back to back to squeeze out the remaining time so that Old Zhang and Little Zhang can use it to perform."
There was an internal schism production team as well!
After all, this was not a team that would work together for long. Even if Peng Yiyu was the overall director, he could not convince everyone of his decisions. What's more, it was a decision regarding Zhang Yuanqi and Zhang Xia. They were very popular, had great social connections, and could sing. Their only shortcoming was that they did not have many new songs, which had already been made up for now. The new song was even very outstanding, so there was no reason to not let them sing. The excuses of the songs not being suitable, or that those were old songs already did not work. If they insisted on not letting them make an appearance, then it would surely offend many people. During this event, the two of them would have to listen to the production team's instructions, but the event would only be for today. When it was over, don't they still need to work? Unless they chose to leave the industry? They would definitely have to give face to the two of them!
After discussing for a long time.
Finally, Peng Yiyu could no longer not consider Zhang Xia and Zhang Yuanqi's influence as well as the internal differences his team had. He said, "Go back first, we will discuss the timing allocations and see if I can make some time for your program. Once it's confirmed, I will contact you again."
Since it was said in such a manner, it meant it was very likely a certainty.
Zhang Xia sighed , "Actually, Little Peng's not having it easy either." The old lady was still understanding of the situation.
Zhang Yuanqi commented, "He's just being too eager. What Uncle Chu said earlier was right. The Spring Festival Gala is not only a gala for young people. Older audiences and performers should not be forgotten. If that really happened, then it would definitely be a tragedy for the gala. It is precisely people our age who have the most feelings for the gala."
Zhang Xia laughed, "Let's see. If the people are not satisfied with my performance this year, I will admit that I'm too old for this and consider my retirement."