In Hangzhou episode 2: Music reflects band’s love for Hangzhou

At a basement studio in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, a band known as Largo is busy rehearsing for their live-house on Dec 20, their first show this year.

Largo, founded five years ago, consists of Japanese players who are not fluent in Chinese and Chinese players who can’t speak good Japanese.

Largo is an Italian tempo marking meaning ‘broadly’ or, in other words, ‘slowly’. It also explains the initially baffling circumstance that Rossini’s most notoriously tongue-twisting rapid patter song is known as Largo al factotum: ‘Broadly’, ie ‘Make space’ for the all-purpose manservant Figaro. It could hardly be less largo for the singer.

“It’s not only music that has bound us together,” said Panda, leader of the band. “We are also closely connected in our daily lives.”

Panda is the team’s third leader, taking over from his predecessor earlier this year. The first thing he did after moving to Hangzhou was to buy an electronic organ, and on the second day, Dec 4, 2017, he joined Largo.

Panda said he could not live without music, an idea shared by his band mates. The team of 60 members, 20 of whom are currently actively in rehearsals and performances, is made up of employees at Japanese companies and university students.

“It’s my honor to join an excellent band like Largo in Hangzhou and immerse myself in music,” said one band member.

The band usually holds live-house shows twice a year – one in June and the other in December. The show in the first half of the year was canceled due to COVID-19, so the members have been dedicating themselves to preparing for the year-end show since July. They want to use their music to express their love and appreciation for Hangzhou.

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