Wednesday, 18 April 2018 @ 12:10noon
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Concert Hall
The Knight and The Dragon by Christopher Sim Mao Sheng (BMus1)
The Knight and the Dragon is the realisation of the Draconian language as music. Draconian is the language of the dragons, and it is a constructed language created by a linguist friend of mine named Simon Christiansen. The music itself follows, as close as possible, the grammatical and phonemic framework that defines the language. The work contains a single movement representing the poem of the same name authored by someone who did not wish to have her/his name revealed (i.e. anonymous). The poem was initially written in English; now it has been translated into Draconian for this serialist piece. I did the translation to my best attempts.
I was inspired to write this piece because language construction is the ultimate absurdism. Music itself is an aural art, where sounds and timbre are combined and altered to create different sound colours. The Draconian language, like all natural and constructed languages, possesses this essence of beauty in their construct and syntax, and I see music if given the right tools and instructions, could recreate any language into a (serial) system whether or not the audience understood what the instrument might have played.
Music in an Attempt to write gesturally about a few Found Objects by Christopher Johann Clarke Shirui (MMus1)
This piece is an exploration of combining simple “thought-objects” into musical material and, projecting how these “objects” might interact with each other in mental space onto musical notation. An apt analogy would be the “rube goldberg machine”, a machine (or contraption or invention or device or apparatus) that uses a chain reaction to accomplish a very simple task in a very complicated manner.
However, unlike the “rube goldberg machine”, my “objects” do not contain intrinsic humorous elements and are simply thought forth into existence for musical purposes. The music describes the interaction (or lack thereof) between the objects in different degrees. The motion of one object might influence and set in motion the movement of another object, or it might be two separate objects co-existing in thought-space.
The different objects can be described as such:
- Object that pulses (eg. Mobile phone)
- Object that clicks (eg. Pen, mouse, clip)
- Object that is bouncing and losing energy (eg. ball)
- Object that lines itself back together (eg. bunch of magnets)
- Object that travels from a point to another point (eg. Rolling ball)
Through various interactions the objects start to combine, and at the end of the piece, they slowly converge into an object that inherits traits from the objects it contains.
Movements within still body by Ilysia Tan Jiayng (BMus1)
Imagine being forced to sit in a chair. You want to move. Your muscles are getting stiff and sore. Your body builds up energy yet you can do nothing about it. The discomfort you feel is a battle between what the brain commands and how the body reacts to it. This lack of tension and activity, paradoxically, creates great tension on the muscles, creating a feeling of annoyance, an irritating sensation. This piece employs the common concept of musical tension, and interweaves it with two main elements: elongated periods of stasis and sporadic changes, mimicking this struggle away from rigidity. There are many places in which we are told to sit still: the classroom, the MRT, this performance space. Why do we self-enforce such restrictions?
In Midst of Haste by Christine Tandinata (BMus3)
Life is a series of unpredictable events – sequences of instability and constant deviation. In between rapid succession of moments, there is always a point in time, an instance so captivating that it cannot possibly be missed. What is about to come remains a mystery and often evokes raw emotions – anxiety and apprehension. However, spontaneity is also fascinating, regardless of its dangerous and wildly uncertain quality. In Midst of Haste parallels the unforeseeable nature of life.
Cyclovolution by Lim Chae Hyun (B.Mus1)
Cyclovolution, an abbreviation of Cycle’s Evolution is my exploration of ways to breaking of routine. For the first few weeks of writing this piece, I was traumatized with continuous routine in my surrounding life, and always seek methods to evade any recurring patterns. The sense of routine was predominant for the past few months, but I was completely ignorant of my past life, which was also full of routines. The initial solution of my problem was returning to my past life, but soon I realized the routine always existed in every seconds of my life. The piece follows this narrative throughout, and this is demonstrated by use of specific intervals and melodic contours. The piece explores alternative ways to mitigate my irritation towards routine, and the shifting of perspective towards routine then become my final solution. Through changing my view of routine, the same material evolves to different impression, and this liberate me from pain of routine.
(Drama Two) After Plato’s “Phaedrus” by Noah Gabriel Juliano Diggs (B.Mus3)
Drama Two: After Plato’s “Phaedrus” is a piece about discussion and discourse. It puts emphasis on a part of the music that is usually not in the spotlight, the forming and context of the music itself. The piece takes this crucial aspect of music making and makes it the music itself.