"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song."
- CHINESE PROVERB
A Personal Contemplation of Projects Undertaken
Walking in the Wild A One-Act Scene
Walking in the Wild is a one-act scene I started producing in 2019. It is choreographed by contemporary dancer Goh Jia Yin, in collaboration with soprano Ng Jing Yun. Through vocal art song and contemporary dance, this scene hopes to invite contemplation on the natural cycle of life. Music and dance synthesize in the process as both musicians and dancer become actors through their craft. Still a work in progress, excerpts were presented at the Performers' Presents International Artistic Research Symposium at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
A Confluence of Artistic Realms: A Multimedia Performance of Tan Dun's 8 Memories in Watercolour
My doctoral thesis culminated in a multimedia performance of Tan Dun’s 8 Memories in Watercolour. I produced short documentaries that precede each movement. These documentaries highlight the interaction between Chinese painting, Chinese traditional music, and 8 Memories in Watercolour. By exploring the confluence of these artistic realms, this multimedia rendition of 8 Memories in Watercolour serves as a window into Chinese culture on top of being a picturesque set of character pieces.
The Schumann Project: Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6
The Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 6, is a set of 18 character pieces by Schumann. The Davidsbündler refers to an imaginary league of characters concocted Schumann concocted to battle the Philistines of music. The Davidsbündlertänze, or Dances of the League of David, are hence understood to be dedicated to the Davidsbündler.
Yet few know that this Op. 6 was Schumann's wedding gift to Clara. Having a rather obsessive interest in composers' personal lives, I decided to delve into the letters exchanged between Schumann and Clara during their courtship. Their story is indeed one befitting a soap opera; two lovebirds fighting a disapproving father. I decided to narrate their courtship in a rendezvous of words and music; I picked excerpts from their letters and fitted them to the atmosphere of each movement, to form a narrative of the Clara and Robert Schumann story.
Solo Recital at the 2013 Alba Music Festival: Estampes by Claude Debussy
I have always adored performing music with descriptive titles only because I feel like I am both a painter and a pianist at once. Estampes, composed in 1903, translates into 'prints'; Debussy was fond of Japanese engravings. Consisting 3 movements, each paints a unique scene that speaks of exoticism. La Soirée dans Grenade (An evening in Grenada) features the lilting rhythm of the habanera, augmented intervals of the Arabic scale and guitar strumming, igniting once's imagination of the Spanish landscape. Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the rain) features rain droplets of all kinds, from the gentle pitter-patter of a drizzle to the violent howls of a storm. These are live recordings from a recital at the Alba Music Festival in 2013, and in the spirit of synchronicity, it rained during the performance!