- Jennifer Aline Graham
Musician, Vivian Fang Liu, Releases Children’s Album: Shape of Crowns “I Wanted All Children to Know
Jennifer Aline Graham
Grammy Award Winner, Jon Samson, declares Vivian Fang Liu’s “songwriting and voice to be equally powerful and deliver multifaceted messaging wrapped in mesmerizing melodies and rhythms for active listeners of any age.”
Vivian Fang Liu’s premiere children’s album is a wonderful fun filled and highly imaginative group of songs that you can’t help even as an adult want to stamp your feet, swing back and forth, and sing along to. A thoroughly happy adventure for children and adults alike, reviewed by Sir Vincent Lyn.
Songs That Unite
Vivian Fang Liu is a brilliantly gifted musician who released her first children’s album, Shape of Crowns, on September 26th. Though her songwriting expertise and expressive voice are visible in her album, educating children through song is another talent, and passion, Liu holds dear.
“Throughout my teaching career, I realized that there is not enough music for children of all colors,” Liu says. “I decided to make an album that Asian American kids can relate to. I wanted all children to know that music unites people together.”
Not only does Liu’s educational experience play a role in the music she creates, but the people of her hometown, Guiyang, China also inspired her to write songs that reach a diverse population and each song hold lessons that will last a lifetime. Guiyang, also known as the City of Mountains, is home to a variety of minority groups who explore arts and music in unique ways.
For her song, 8 Immortals Soaring Over the Sea, Liu found eight children to sing, representing the Chinese folklore it was based on. The cultural story focuses on eight immortals who have different powers and come together to better the world. It is through this album, Liu wanted to bring happiness to children, showing them how music brings all the children together no matter what the race, color, nationality, creed, or religion.
Shape of Crowns - “Everyone is unique and special”
What makes Liu’s music more unique than other artists, in her niche, is her ability to beautifully weave lessons into the lyrics. The lessons she incorporates into her songs have a connection to culture, unifying elements, and a sound children will feel drawn to.
“I want the listeners to enjoy the music while learning something new.
Silence is the first song in this album, Liu says that silence is important in music, and, in life. “If I don’t talk, it doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts. People think Asians are silent - are we? People should have the choice to speak up or not and be respected for their opinions. I want the listeners to enjoy the music while learning something. In Belong, I talk about the contributions that Asian Americans have [given] the United States and the world, despite being treated as forever foreigners,” Liu explains about one of the songs on her album. “In the song Shape of Crowns, [I discuss how] we came to the world as different shapes and creatures. Everyone is unique and special and we need to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s differences.”
Giving Without Expectation
Music has an undefined power to not only bring people together but find ways to help in need. During pandemic with rise in anti-Asian hate, Liu and her students organized a virtual fundraising concert, and they managed to raise enough money to buy a thousand self-defense portable alarms for senior centers.
Spreading Cultural Awareness
In the diverse world we live in, lessons such as the ones Liu embeds into her music are just as important for adults and parents as they are for today’s youth. Spreading cultural awareness through music is a beautiful way to unite people from different walks of life and Liu does a tremendous job doing just that.
“My hopes are that young listeners enjoy the music and, maybe after thirty years or so, when they remember the song, they say, ‘oh, that’s what the song was about.’ And then, my mission was accomplished and makes it all worth every minute of what I created.”
There is no doubt Liu’s hope will become a reality as Shape of Crowns grows in popularity.