The heavens are rent, and a roar of primal energy fills the air.
The earth cracks open, as the god-man’s axe shimmers then sinks deep and disappears.
Heyo-ho! The drought of the past is enveloped by the flood of the first rain, forming the rivers and oceans. Heyo-ho! From the towering rocky peaks comes the roar of a great wind, sending the demons of the world fleeing as it rolls across the land.
According to ancient Chinese legend, Pangu, the creator of the earth, was asleep for 18,000 years, before rising to form the face of the landscape from the hairs on his head, and the great oceans from his blood, the first source of all the water of the world. The Yellow River soon begins to flow, its rushing torrents like a song echoing in vast and empty sky. On the riverbank, the goddess Nüwa created giant stones of all colors and used them to repair the holes in the sky, after which she formed the first humans from clay from the river basin. Imbuing her new creations with the gift of life, under the light of the moon, the first footprint is left upon the ground. On the opposite bank, Fuxi, the mythic first male in all creation, initiated the forces of yin and yang energy, and from the first seeds of wisdom and knowledge, began to compile the mankind’s first steps to self-awareness such as tying knots to track the passage of time.
After countless aeons, the world froze and thawed in succession, until one day, the earth finally wrenched open with a cataclysmic burst, clouds of steam bellowing from beneath the surface. It was after this that giant Kuafu strode over the jutting peaks of the mountains, forever leaving the marks of his footprints across the land as he chased the sun into the distance. Much later, the legendary emperor Yu the Great led his people as they battled with the torrential floods for 13 years, finally transformed the flood waters into the clouds in the sky, to forever soar above the land, never to harm them again.
A gust of wind picks up, carrying the Yellow Emperor’s gaze to the four corners of the earth, while conjuring the forces of nature to defeat his rival, Chiyou. Horses thunders across the dusky landscape. Long spears thrust up toward the evening sky in celebration of a successful hunt. This great battle resounds with the accomplishments of the first people of China, echoing throughout the star-scattered sky. Those who return triumphant have learned to create their eternal kingdom with blood and war horns. Heroes who have exchanged spear for spade cultivate stalks of wheat, and as they bring the harvest to the storehouse, sing songs of bounty and thanksgiving.
Our musical journey begins with China’s myth of creation, Pangu Separates Earth and Heaven, followed by the misadventures of Kuafu Chases the Sun, the ancient discourses recounted in Yao and Shun Discuss Morality, together with tales of the beauties, emperors, warriors, gods and goddesses enshrined in ancient lore that has become the foundation for the ancient civilization of China. Stories so powerful that they transcend time and are forever engraved on the hearts of the “Children of the Dragon”, the proud, ancient lineage first formed in the legend of Fuxi – Universal Harmony.
All the sorrows and troubles of the world gather silently to become the tears of Chang'e, the princess in the moon, falling to the earth as she weeps in memory over her estranged husband. The soft glow of the ever-patient moon shimmering on the back of a wild goose, as it takes flight into the chilly sky of early autumn morning to continue its endless journey.
More than six years in the making, Rhymoi producer Ye Yunchuan, together with NetEase CEO William Ding present an extraordinary project, paying tribute to the very origins of Chinese civilization. Zhang Zhao’s epic, fantasy-filled score is brought to life in a stunning performance from over 100 Chinese and Western musicians. You will be transported to the fantastical realms of China’s mythic past, experiencing the hopes and dreams of the long forgotten kingdoms of ancient Asia. Master sound engineer Zhang Xiao’an personally oversaw the months of recording to insure the most vivid listening experience possible! Long celebrated for his passionate promotion of China’s musical culture, Ye Yunchuan has created his most magical and ambitious project to date – an extraordinary celebration of a great civilization’s timeless legacy to humanity, presented in a kaleidoscopic series of musical tableau that will immerse you in wonder and magic.
From the heat of the scorching sun to the lonesome snows of a starless night, the cycles of time unfold endlessly through the eons. Here, ‘Once Upon a Time’ is the eternal NOW, and all the ferocity and tranquility, the love and loss, the heroes and villains live on and enjoy life anew through the music on this extraordinary album, an ode to the creation of time and the world itself.