After the concert ended, Ming Cang did not immediately leave. He wanted to introduce Fang Zhao to Ha Wen. This would be beneficial to both Fang Zhao and Ha Wen.
Ha Wen strode over quickly. "Teacher Ming?!"
Ming Cang and his wife had both taught him before. After Ha Wen had sent out the invites, he had found out that Ming Ye would be having his weekly medical examination. His concert had coincidentally fallen on the same day, so he had expected Ming Cang to stay home and look after Ming Ye. He had never expected that Ming Cang would actually come over.
Ha Wen knew about the hardships Ming Cang had been through over the past 10-plus years. He had also helped Ming Cang, but back then, he had been at a low point in his career and the help he had been able to provide was limited. After he had finally overcome his own difficulties, when he wished to help Ming Cang more, he had heard that a treatment had been discovered and had felt happy for Ming Cang.
For this concert, Ha Wen had guessed that Ming Cang might not show up due to the matters with Ming Ye. Although he had felt a little regretful, as the father of two children himself, he could understand where Ming Cang was coming from and had no complaints.
During his time at the Qi'an Academy of Music, besides Ha Wen's own talent, Ming Cang's teachings had been very important as well. Even after Ming Cang no longer taught, they still kept in touch and maintained their student-teacher relationship. Every time they spoke would end up being beneficial to Ha Wen. The reason Ha Wen was able to sit in front of a piano once again was also because of Ming Cang's encouragement.
When he had found out that Ming Cang was here, Ha Wen had been moved, placed other matters aside, and rushed over.
After Ming Cang had introduced Fang Zhao, Ha Wen smiled at Fang Zhao and said, "I know you, a really impressive junior indeed!"
As graduates of the Qi'an Academy of Music, calling one a junior displayed a sense of closeness, and the praise he had given was not because Ming Cang was there but rather because of genuine admiration.
Although they specialized in different styles, they could still hear the skills from other composer's works. From what Ha Wen saw, despite Fang Zhao being only 20-odd years old and having come from a family without a musical background, his accomplishments were already extremely impressive.
"Are you done with all your stuff? Go settle all your own matters first. We will just wait for you here and have a chat later." Ming Cang waved Ha Wen off, letting him sort out his own matters first.
Hearing Ming Cang say this, Ha Wen nodded. Although his concert had ended, there were a couple of things he still needed to see to.
"All right, then please have some tea over here first, Teacher Ming and Junior Fang." Ha Wen got somebody to bring Ming Cang and Fang Zhao to a lounge. He couldn't let his guests stand there and wait for him.
After Ha Wen left, Ming Cang explained to Fang Zhao, "After a concert, he must send off old classmates, teachers, and friends who came to cheer him on as well as parties interested in purchasing song rights. That might take a while longer, but it won't be more than an hour. Let's have a chat over there first." Seating himself down in the lounge, Ming Cang continued, "You did well signing with Silver Wing and having their teams help you out with the social niceties, but you still can't leave everything to the teams behind you. There are always some social interactions that you ought to attend in person."
Ming Cang was reminding Fang Zhao that although he might seem on fire now, if his powerful backer Silver Wing left the picture, he could not even be compared to others who were from influential families. There were some things that couldn't be completely left to others.
Some people were arrogant and haughty but had the capital and resources to back it up—Fang Zhao was still a long way from that level.
A student had once told Ming Cang that, having come from a basic background, the pressure he had felt was much more than what others felt. There were times when he had wanted to escape a predicament but had not been able to rely on contacts, so he had only been able to struggle as if his life depended on it.
Although Fang Zhao did not have an influential background, he had ability and luck, and the path he had traveled was smooth, so he had not needed to struggle and strive to survive.
Thinking about the series of experiences Fang Zhao had had after graduating, in his heart, Ming Cang sighed at Fang Zhao's good fortune. But he did not know that Fang Zhao had experienced a period where he'd had to struggle just to live, and Fang Zhao had spent close to a hundred years in that sort of hell.
Sure, Fang Zhao's current body had been strengthened during the mysterious process of his rebirth, but having the experience from his past life of living through the Period of Destruction had given rise to the current Fang Zhao in everyone's eyes. Otherwise, if it had been any other person who had been reborn, even if they'd had golden fingers, they might not necessarily have accomplished what Fang Zhao had.
The experience from his past life was cast inside the current Fang Zhao. What others saw as luck was actually his experiences that could not be revealed to the world.
As for Ming Cang's worry, there wasn't really any need for it. When it came to his mental state and character, Fang Zhao was really strong. Furthermore, Fang Zhao also wasn't a person with a low IQ or EQ.
After around 40 minutes had passed, Ha Wen hurriedly returned with a beaming smile on his face. He was clearly excited. His selling of song rights had probably gone really well, and evaluations from people within the circles were quite high. He had truly completed his first concert, a major stepping stone in his life.
Ming Cang chuckled. "Looks like the results were not bad." He had already gotten some evaluations of Ha Wen's concert from some people in a group chat, and most of them were full of praise.
Ha Wen's eyes had turned to slits on his slightly round face. "Hahaha, not bad, not too bad!"
Ming Cang once again introduced the two of them to each other, this time a little more formally. Then he said to Fang Zhao, "If you have any queries or doubts about arranging, you can look for Ha Wen."
"Right, I might not be as impressive in other areas as Junior Fang, but arrangement is my specialty. Although I can't compare with the teachers at QiMu, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Oh, I nearly forgot, let's exchange contact information. Your concert is coming soon. If you need help in any area, don't be afraid to ask," Ha Wen said.
In his heart, Ha Wen knew that although Fang Zhao was still considered a newcomer and junior in the music circles, no one took him lightly. Ha Wen had also seen from recent news that there was a lot of attention being placed on Fang Zhao's concert even though there was still some time before it.
Interacting more would be beneficial to the both of them.
The three of them spent an hour chatting in the music hall's lounge. Ming Cang had not performed here in a long time and his suggestions were only from his point of view, while Ha Wen, who had just completed his concert, provided suggestions that were more applicable to Fang Zhao.
That night, after Fang Zhao had returned home from Golden Age Music Hall, Fang Zhao tidied up and recorded down all the knowledge, suggestions, and insights he had gained from Ming Cang and Ha Wen in his notebook.
The concert was in April, but time would pass very quickly. Fang Zhao regarded his first concert as quite important. Just as Ming Cang had said, if he was not satisfied with the status quo in the circles, he could only adapt to it until he had sufficient capability to change it.
In the New Era, for people who were in this industry, holding their first concert at one of the three major venues was like an extremely important examination in one's life.
When Old Xue Jing returned back from Huangzhou, he started helping Fang Zhao prepare for his concert. He was an old man and his energy was limited, so he could not help out too much, but from the attitude he showed, he was telling people in the circles this: "I regard this little fellow really highly. Do not deliberately nitpick!"
As for Ming Cang, there was no need for him to say anything. Everyone in Yanzhou's music circles knew that Ming Cang was standing on Fang Zhao's side. Every since Fang Zhao's "100-Year Period of Destruction" series had been released, everyone had been able to see Ming Cang's stance. Also, Ming Cang had not hidden the fact that he had brought along Fang Zhao to Ha Wen's concert.
Thus, people within the circles knew that for the newcomer Fang Zhao's first concert, there were two old hands paving the way. As long as the quality of the pieces produced wasn't too bad, on account of these two, nobody would give too poor an evaluation.
Can't stand it? Jealous of Fang Zhao?
Of course there were such people.
But what could be done even if they were jealous? Before finding out the quality of Fang Zhao's pieces that would be showcased at the concert, people could only keep their opinions to themselves. If they said too much, besides offending others, it would only show that they were petty, and it was not beneficial for them.
Thus, when critics in the industry were interviewed, when Fang Zhao, a little junior within the industry, was mentioned, their evaluations of him were guarded. They might have wanted to grumble about Fang Zhao in their hearts, but they could only wait. The moment Fang Zhao failed, they would bring out their grievances without the slightest hesitation!
Everything was judged in terms of quality. Even with Xue Jing and Ming Cang's support, if the quality wasn't there, they couldn't blame others for not showing mercy.
Actually, there were many people doubting the quality of the pieces Fang Zhao would be putting up. After all, he had been undergoing military service for the past year, and all 10 songs of his had been composed during that time. Fang Zhao had also frequently gone out on missions during his military service days, and there hadn't really been a lot of time to spend on composing. And that wasn't even taking into account his mental and physical exhaustion after missions.
In that limited amount of time, had he been able to create 10 quality works?
There were also people who had bought tickets for Fang Zhao's concert off other people at high prices in order to get firsthand news at the earliest possible time.
As days passed, August drew closer.
Fang Zhao did not participate in any activities, did not play games, did not accept interviews, and did not do any livestreams, but Fiery Bird's advertisements were still there. Online, his sticker packs were still in circulation, and Silver Wing's publicity teams were not being idle. Thus, even though Fang Zhao did not participate in any activities, his image never went out of sight, and people were instead reminded of Fang Zhao's concert from time to time.
The concert was arranged for the first Saturday of August.
On the eve of the concert, Fang Zhao was brushing Curly Hair's fur as he talked with Xue Jing through a video call.
Xue Jing was worried that Fang Zhao would be too nervous. He had not expected that, when the call went through, he would see Fang Zhao brushing Curly Hair.
"Seems like you are in a decent state. That's good, keep it that way. Rest early today and make sure your energy levels are up. Don't concern yourself with me tomorrow. I'll be heading there with a few old friends." Xue Jing was very satisfied with Fang Zhao's current state. Seeing that Fang Zhao did not need counsel, Xue Jing did not bore him with incessant chatter and just exhorted once or twice before ending the call.
After the call, Fang Zhao removed a thick layer of curly fur from the brush and placed it in a box. The box was filled with Curly Hair's dropped fur.
In May, someone had looked up Fang Zhao, asking him to endorse a household cleaning robot. Especially for households with pets, the focus was on cleaning the furs and hairs of pets while not damaging the floorboards.
That person had said a lot, but Fang Zhao had ultimately rejected them.
Even though Curly Hair shed excessively, it wasn't that serious and there was no need for a cleaning robot.
Fang Zhao patted Curly Hair's head. "Go and play."
As soon as he had said it, Curly Hair flew into the gaming room like the wind.
Turning off the lights, Fang Zhao stood in front of the windows as he gazed out at Qi'an City's bright nightscape.
To say that Fang Zhao did not even have any feelings at this point would be a lie, but Fang Zhao was not anxious like Xue Jing and the others were, nor was he worried. Instead, he had a sort of excitement, like he was impatient to get on with it.
As a composer, Fang Zhao was definitely willing to let his pieces be heard by even more people. In his past life, he had not had the qualifications. And forget about a concert. Back in the Old Era, there hadn't been anything like this.
This was something wonderful. Fang Zhao could not bring himself to be worried at all.