Home Music Music Features

‘In My Room’ With Rainbow Chan

The interdisciplinary artist gave us a taste of her beautiful new album in her ‘In My Room’ session

Interdisciplinary artist Rainbow Chan gave us a taste of her beautiful new album in her ‘In My Room’ session.

Set for release in 2024, The Bridal Lament is a thoughtful music and performance work which draws on Chan’s Weitou ancestry (the first settlers of Hong Kong) to reimagine a Weitou ritual known as the bridal lament, a public performance of grief in which a bride wept and sang in front of family and friends.

In this liminal space, brides were able to express bitterness towards their arranged marriages and the prevailing patriarchal rule. Chan brings to life intergenerational and cross-cultural perspectives on diasporic experiences and the complex history of Hong Kong in an emotionally powerful piece.

The Bridal Lament features lead single “Seven Sisters”, which received widespread in Australia, and Chan also took the work on the road for her solo theatre debut.

Assisted by the Australia Council, The Bridal Lament was given its world premiere at Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art in Sydney last month, before Chan took the theatre show to OzAsia Festival in Adelaide at the beginning of November.

“It’s the first time that I’ve created my own project for a theatrical setting, and my most ambitious creative endeavour to date!” Chan said about the theatre experience. “Some songs are English adaptations of Weitou lament lyrics; others describe the experiences that the young bride-to-be went through; and some are the original laments performed in a modern way.

“Exploring themes of grief, love and matrilineal knowledge, The Bridal Lament invites the audience to contemplate the challenges of belonging across time and place. The Bridal Lament honours the strength and beauty of Weitou women’s voices, ensuring that these melodies continue to resonate for generations to come.”

Chan swapped Carriageworks for her own Melbourne house to perform some of The Bridal Lament for Rolling Stone AU/NZ. You can watch her full ‘In My Room’ session above.