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Chinese Melodrama / Bio

Acoustic sensibilities from two diverse backgrounds converge in an homage to the quintessential sounds of American rock music. Randy Bales (guitar, vocals), and Lisa Chu (violin) bring fresh collaborative energy to their interpretations of cult classics. Their sounds recall a familiar time, with the exciting twist of modern inspiration.

Together through their collaborative efforts Chinese Melodrama has developed a unique sound which they have captured and recorded in their newly released debut EP. All original songs that showcase their intricate interwoven melodies and thought provoking, inspirational music theme.


Randy Bales, guitar, vocals, lyrics

Randy is a California native, born in the small coastside town of San Luis Obispo. His first encounter with music came from listening to his parents’ old Johnny Cash records. The turning point in his musical development came one night while lying awake in bed, overhearing the television downstairs as his older brother watched Queen perform “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. From that point on, Randy gained much of his inspiration listening to his brothers’ rock albums and from the music of his second cousin Carl Barnwell, who was in the band Matthew’s Southern Comfort.

He got his first guitar at age 14 and started to teach himself the endearing songs that were part of his early childhood development. Throughout high school and afterwards he found himself in several different garage bands looking for any opportunities to perform in front of an audience.

Discouraged by his lack of early success in the music industry, Randy turned his focus to pursuing a career in Silicon Valley’s high tech computer industry, never losing his desire to play music whenever possible. He then started to realize that for him music was much more than hearing but about feeling and observing what was taking place on a much higher level.

This realization inspired him to refocus his efforts on the local music scene, building up a network of musicians through hosting open mics, jams, house concerts, and other community events. He has teamed up with the amazing violinist Lisa Chu and started writing songs that convey the inspiration and thought provoking insight that allows people to increase their self awareness and focus on a positive outlook for humanity.

Lisa Chu, violin

Lisa Chu, M.D., began classical training in piano at the age of three and violin at the age of four.

Born in Libertyville, Illinois, she has performed internationally, including Carnegie Hall at the age of eight, the Vatican for Pope John Paul II at age eleven, the Kennedy Center at age twelve, and for President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow at age fourteen. She has also appeared on European and American national television, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and CBS Morning News. While in medical school at the University of Michigan, she won the annual concerto competition and performed the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the Campus Symphony Orchestra.

From 2004 to 2009, Lisa was the founder and teacher in her own violin school in Palo Alto, California. She created a performing group of violinists, ages two and a half to ten, presenting public concerts throughout the Bay Area, touring to Chicago’s Orchestra Hall five times, participating in summer music festivals in Colorado and Indiana, as well as traveling to Italy and the Czech Republic.

Lisa is a newcomer to the non-classical music world, having co-created Chinese Melodrama in 2010, as part of a personal exploration of improvisational and healing music. She is a graduate of Harvard University, with an A.B. magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences, and has an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. No longer teaching violin to children, she is now a life coach focused on helping adults rediscover their power to create lives they love. More on Lisa’s life coaching practice at http://themusicwithinus.com.

General Info

Band Members
Randy Bales (guitar, vocals), Lisa Chu (violin)
Artist Name
Chinese Melodrama
Home Page
Active Since
Indie / world/acoustic metal

Contact Info

Half Moon Bay, CA