Songwriter's Breakthrough

Songwriter's Breakthrough
Luantan-Ascent (above) on why his album, Breakthrough, is divided into two parts –one below water and the other above

Breakthrough is an album that ruminates on man's relationship with nature, says Taiwanese singer- songwriter Luantan-Ascent, 43, of his latest work, now out in shops.

The album is divided thematically into two parts.

The first is below the water and the second is above.

He says over the telephone from Taipei: "That's why you have to break through the water. It's about this earth and how everything is connected."

On Out From Water, he muses: "The sky is blue, the sea is bluer/The sea is broad, the land is broader/The land is wide, the sky is boundless."

Man's relationship with nature is far from idyllic though.

Harmony has been upset by a reliance on technology and our attempts to manipulate nature, he laments. "Because technology is so convenient, time has sped up for us. We have forgotten about process and how to cherish something."

And technological advancement can be a vicious circle. As an example, he points to indiscriminate use of antibiotics leading to medicine- resistant diseases, which leads to the need for ever more potent drugs.

It sounds like a message of doom and gloom, but the album throbs with vitality and is far from depressing, in part because of the striking animal imagery used.

He says: "On some levels, the essence of animal existence is similar to that of man's. I wanted to make that connection and using animals to illustrate a point makes it less serious, I guess."

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