Magdelen Hsu-Li’s modern lyrics and cultural expression made her a hit on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Owl Cove.
Hsu-Li, featured in a lecture series sponsored by the Main Campus Program Board and the Asian Pacific American Coalition, kept her audience enthralled and entertained through music and spoken word.
Hsu-Li is not only an artist, but a poet and a speaker as well; all of which reflect in her life philosophy on evolving and redefining herself.
Lyrics such as “From the tip of my tongue, I want a connection. From the back of my throat, I want a connection.
From the arch of my eye, I want a connection,” gave listeners a sense of her passion for identity.
With a talent for both the guitar and piano along with a strong voice, she was able to enlighten as well as educate.
Since 1997 Hsu-Li has be performing her own “personal” genre of music.
A blend of pop, rock, alternative, folk, punk and her self named “flip-flop,” a version of hip-hop, throughout the U.S.
Hsu-Li’s inspiration derives from what is going on around the world, particularly political issues, along with her search for identity.
In order for students to better understand her lyrics, Hsu-Li offered a short narrative before performing all her songs.
Her long set-list included songs about China’s political leaders, improving the social environment, finding a place for one’s self in society and self-discovery.
Her performance included songs such as “As I am” a personal song about growing up in Virginia.
Other highlights were “Definition,” a song about self-exploration, “Spirit of the World,” a feel-good song about making the world a better place and “Chink,” a satirical song about Asian heritage.
Hsu-Li’s songs were extremely symbolic while being both personal and emotional.
Rather than use typical adjectives and nouns, she chose to use colors as expressions of emotions and race, weaving a rich tapestry of both music and word.
“We wanted to reach every culture of Temple University,” explained Meshack Cleary, a co-chair of the lecture committee for the Main Campus Program Board.
“When deciding on lectures for this year, we choose Magdalen because we felt the Asian community wasn’t one aspect of Temple that was really fulfilled on this campus.”
An added incentive to this lecture and performance was a drawing in which two students got to walk away with a copy of her first CD Evolution and her latest release Fire.
With free food and cultural entertainment, this event was well appreciated by all those who attended.
Tiffani Joseph can be reached at Tilejo@aol.com