Blood on Gold Mountain: A Story from the 1871 LA Chinatown Massacre
Love and honor collide with racism in a bloody showdown on the streets of Wild-West era Los Angeles
1871 Los Angeles was a dangerous place, especially for the refugees, migrants and troublemakers who lived on Calle De Los Negros, at the heart of Chinatown.
Yut Ho, a beautiful young refugee, came to LA and fell in love, only to be drawn into a showdown between two of Chinatown's most notorious gangsters. Before long, the entire city was caught up in a life or death struggle where old-world values of kinship, honor and loyalty clashed with new-world issues of race, sex, and identity. The ensuing conflict would threaten the lives of Yut Ho and all the denizens of Chinatown– and would change the face of Los Angeles forever.
This true but largely forgotten event from California's past is brought to you by the Holmes Performing Arts Fund of the Claremont Colleges, the Music Department of Scripps College, the Pacific Basin Institute of Pomona College, the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at The New England Conservatory, and the Public Events Office at Scripps College.
Blood on Gold Mountain was written and produced by Yan-Jie Micah Huang, narrated by Hao Huang, introduced by Emma Gies, and features music composed by Micah Huang and performed by Micah Huang and Emma Gies. A special thanks to Evo Terra from Simpler Media Productions for his expertise and support.
Hao Huang is a pianist who served as a four-time United States Information Agency Artistic Ambassador. He has been warmly acclaimed in over two dozen countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the New York and Colorado Councils of the Arts and the California Meet the Composer Series. His work has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post and National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition”.
* Frankly, this project has been a bit of return to my past: I grew up in a racist town in New Jersey. I know firsthand the hurts pervasive racist violence causes. Although I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had as a concert pianist, the feeling of being disconnected and solitary as so many people feel during COVID quarantine has never left me. It's my hope that this (hi)story can help us begin to heal together.
Micah Huang is the script writer, audio content producer and musical director for Blood on Gold Mountain. He was educated at Tufts University and Pitzer College, where he studied Music, the performing arts and literature. Micah's production style is built around analog and acoustic instruments, tracked live in a hybrid studio. He is influenced by musical styles from across the globe, and was a Fulbright fellow in Musicology in 2013-14, during which time he studied Romungro Cigányzene (Roma/gypsy music) in Budapest, Hungary. He plays multiple instruments and sings in the Flower Pistils. Blood on Gold Mountain is his debut project as a writer of historical fiction.
You'll hear the voice of Emma Gies on the intros and outros of Blood on Gold Mountain and her violin playing in the soundtrack. Emma has a Masters in Music degree from The New England Conservatory in Contemporary Improvisation and a BA from Pitzer College in Interdisciplinary Musical Performance and Understanding. She performed in the commemoration of this massacre in 2019 at the Chinese American Museum in LA. “This has been a dream project to work on, bringing to life an insane story of love and violence that completely changed my understanding of American history. In the midst of hate-based violent attacks on Asian-Americans this past year, now is the time to hear this story, let it sink in, and let it affect you. If you're as moved by hearing this story as I am, please share it with your friends and family.”