“We need to work hard to achieve our dreams and take a leap of faith in doing what we love and becoming the person we want to be. Life is too short to be afraid and we need to know what we want and take action to execute it.”
TEDxTaipei 2011 年『旅程的力量』邀請到一位全方位音樂家，畢業於加拿大蒙特婁 McGill大學音樂系，專攻爵士鋼琴，2010 年獲選為新台灣之光100，更是台灣首位榮獲全球知名【太陽劇團 Cirque Du Soleil 】遴選之音樂家，一個很不一樣的女人－ 吳苡嫣。
A multi-faceted Jazz musician, Amanda Wu was invited to give a talk at TEDx Taipei in 2011, as part of the “The Power of Journey” series. She graduated from McGill University, Faculty of Music in Montreal, Canada, with her concentration in Jazz Piano. Amanda was selected as one of the top 100 New Pride Stars of Taiwan and was the first Taiwanese musician selected by the world-renowned Cirque Du Soleil. As one of Taiwan’s most versatile and imaginative musicians, Amanda certainly is a distinct and unique woman.
是什麼讓苡嫣這麼地不一樣？她認為『真誠』是音樂中最重要的元素。『我想表達的，是由我靈魂發出的想法和真真切切的人生經驗。』因為每一個音，每一段樂句，都是與內心最深層的對話。第一張專輯【爵士零時差】的創作背景是紀錄苡嫣人生的轉變。在異地求學有許多挫折，那種又愛又恨的心情即是創作歌曲 “Beautiful Tears” 的背景。苡嫣說『轉變過程中會經歷挫折、不安、與迷惘，當下會留過許多眼淚，但是當你達成目標時，回頭一看這所有過程，就會知道一切的付出是值得，而那些流過的眼淚，是多麼美麗！』
What makes Amanda so different? She believes that “genuineness” is the most important element in music. “I want to express my thoughts and life experiences from the deepest part of my soul. Every note and every phrase of melody are conversations with the inner self,” says Amanda. Her first album “Jazz without Time Zones” was produced at a time when she experienced tremendous life changes.
While studying in a foreign country, many challenges and frustrations happened in her life. These emotions became the context of her Jazz Ballade composition, “Beautiful Tears.” Amanda believes that “during the process of change, one has to experience frustration, unease, and confusion - often accompanied by countless tears. However, once you achieve your goals and look back, you will realize that all the hard work you put in is worthwhile. All the tears that shed are incredibly beautiful!”
身為一位全方位的音樂家，苡嫣理想的音樂生涯是創立一套獨有的多元表演方式，搬上世界舞台，在全世界巡迴演出。形容自己體內流著非常愛電子音樂的因子，她覺得很有質感的電音， 充滿着時尚未來感！高度的音樂性，可以讓靈魂獲得自由 。時尚未來感的電音表演，也與苡嫣自己本質相像。想要在自己的音樂藝術作品中做電子音樂，把古典，爵士變成元素，擁有四種音樂風格。
Amanda’s curiosity and wide-ranging talents have taken her in many different directions - forging her unique career and establishing her rare reputation. Amanda is a singer-songwriter/pianist of Jazz and Classical music and a vocalist of Electronica. Amanda’s main goal is to integrate all these styles to create a unique way of performance. Ultimately, she wants to have the opportunity to perform her music and express her ideas in a world tour.
Since her childhood, Amanda has been exposed to a number of musical genres. “From when I was 7 years old, I have always been in the academic school of Classical and Jazz music. But somehow, Electronica is naturally ingrained in my blood.” It is this passion for Electronica that is well-represented in the various masterpieces Amanda has written and created. Amanda believes “great Electronica is filled with a sense of future and fashion, and can set the spirit free.”
Interestingly, what motivates Amanda to pursue her dream is “imagination” - envisioning a better self and upholding that image in order to improve. “This is the calling inside of me. I follow the guidance from my inner voice and since I hear the inner voice, I have to achieve what the inner voice tells me. The key is to picture the image and have the willpower to persist and persevere” says Amanda.
Besides imagination, another important factor for Amanda is "curiosity". Part of this is being inquisitive and challenging existing assumptions. Asking questions helps Amanda develop insights, especially when she encounters problems in life. For this reason, Amanda enjoys reading self-improvement and spiritual books in times of crisis. These books allow her to not only think outside of the box, but also to take an overarching and external viewpoint. Therefore, she can see things from the higher angle. One lesson Amanda has learned from her journey of self-discovery is that “there is always a right moment for things to happen and being patient can lead to immense rewards.”
Amanda also describes herself as a productive “road warrior.” Traveling generates new ideas and different perspectives. In order to feel the cultural energy, Amanda likes to explore as many spots as possible while traveling alone. She says that “curiosity is not only an important attitude on a journey, but also the starting point to lead you to a completely new territory." The next stop on her continuing journey is moving to New York this fall. "Fascinated by the cultural richness and unlimited possibilities of New York, I believe the “Big Apple” will provide sufficient nutrition for my life, music and soul. I am so excited for this big move,” says Amanda excitedly. Once again, Amanda has shown us her readiness and willingness to plunge into the mysterious "unknown."
In modern society, the role of women is always evolving. Amanda has her own opinion about how modern women can pursuit happiness. “Happiness comes from our ability to give love and to receive love,” says Amanda. “Even though it is good to be beautiful, famous and rich - what really makes a person happy is LOVE. Knowing how to expand love to more people, family, friends, surroundings, global issues and countries, helps ensure one can live a happier life. Moreover, all of us should believe that we deserve to be loved.”
2005 年寫下『21 世紀有沒有傳統？』這首歌，代表著對於時代變遷的看法。我們每個人在地球旅程中都會經歷一些時代的轉變，而我們這一代最特別是科技如何取代原來的世界。在這樣時代大轉變之下，很多的思想與社會價值觀與角色也需要被重新定位。苡嫣認為21世紀女性的定義是獨立思考，做自己，與經濟獨立。擁有愛與被愛的能力，以及獨立思考，就可以讓一個人快樂。新時代女性很幸福，平等意識漸漸成為主流，更可以主動地去追求自己的夢想。
One of Amanda’s visionary songs is called, “Are There Traditions in the 21st Century?” This song expresses her point of view of an ever-changing world. Amanda believes everyone experiences the feeling of a “changing era” at one point in life. Born in 1982, Amanda has witnessed how technology has changed the world. With immense generational changes comes the need for societal values and roles to be reexamined – including the role of females in society. Amanda believes that women this century will be characterized by independent thinking, individuality, and financial independence.
Born in the 21st century, we are creating freedom by getting rid of the inappropriate traditional value. We are able to understand and see through the touch of our life. (Lyrics from “Are There Traditions in 21st Century?”
Amanda also believes that everyone has their own life theme. “We should be thankful and cherish our unique birth and life experiences; we need to work hard to achieve our dreams and take a leap of faith in doing what we love in order to become the person we want to be. Life is too short to be afraid. Therefore, we must figure out what we really want, then take action to execute it,” says Amanda.
苡嫣正在籌備自己全創作的新專輯。在她的音樂中我們感受到了創意與不設限的多元性 ，透過她，我們看到女人的全新魅力，一種安靜又大聲，簡單又精采，真誠又獨立的一種力量，未來無論是在紐約還是太陽劇團，我們都期待看到更多她的創作－ 吳苡嫣，我們的新台灣之光，一個從內在就漂亮的女人。
With her new album launching later this year, Amanda hopes her music will inspire people around the world to dive deeper into their passions. Through Amanda’s music, we can feel her creativity and see an evolving and beautiful image of modern women. Her music may be peacefully quiet, but certainly loud in impact; simple in nature, yet deep in meaning. Whether in New York or on the road for Cirque Du Soleil, we look forward to seeing more of her innovative work. As Taiwan’s New Pride Star, Amanda Wu truly is beautiful from the inside out.
文字：womany 編輯部 / 藍巧紋 ChiaoWen Lan
資料、圖片來源：Amanda Wu 吳苡嫣
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