Saturday, 13 April 2019 @ 3:00pm
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Orchestra Hall
Looking for the Self by Cliff Tan (BMUS1, YST)
Looking for the Self reflects my experiences with meditation practice.
There are two main forces in the work that represents the nature of consciousness:
1) Repetition of a simple motive
Repetition functions like a mantra, a representation of stillness and present awareness. Observing the space of our consciousness reveals to us that thoughts arise without intention. This is depicted in a variety of disruptive musical elements that attempts to throw off the momentum of the piece, intruding into the flow and stillness of consciousness.
One simply observes.
When practicing meditation, thoughts about the future, past embarrassments, and music from one’s childhood arise without any effort. Looking for the Self is an active search for the one who thinks. It’s the process of questioning:
Where exactly is the thinker in my body?
1 + 1 = 1 by Ilysia Tan (BMus2, YST)
Study Piece by Lim Wen Liang (BMus2, YST)
What do you think of the current academic system in Singapore?
I write music I like to call “organic process music”, in which the music is a record of a process that has taken place, in the same way a photograph of a conceptual or performance art piece becomes a signifier for the event that has taken place.
In this piece, the music had been written me by fulfilling a set of conditions. The new listening mode to take up is “Sound as Record”.
The music is a referential medium for the process that has taken place and raises implications or questions on the theme of academicism. The sounds themselves have become symbols for this process and the response of the composer to these conditions. However, the implication lies not only with the “procesee”, but also includes the entire system in which this piece will be graded and assessed. The music also implies the difference in judgement between an academic system and a usual audience, among other topics.
From the program notes in the piece:
This piece is part of a process that I put myself through: The conditions are
- No original stylistic intention
- Replication of canonized composers
- Rigorous academic study
silence… is virtue by Kong Tze Shiuan (BMus2, YST)
Silence is most often associated with the absence of sound. Pieces like Cage’s 4’33” come to mind when we talk about the exploration of silence as the emancipation of sonic restrictions (even though Cage himself has already established that there is no absolute silence). In my piece, “silence… is virtue” for violin and tenor saxophone, I explore the alternative concept of silence – losing one’s voice through censorship and conformity.
At the start, the two instruments interact and display their own virtuosity, but still complement each other with the aim of maintaining harmony. Slowly, external forces slowly strip the music of individuality and creativity, until only the consciousness of the soul is left to conform to a regimentally-induced state of being. The ultimate result is a unification of the entire homogenous body into a singular train of thought. Notions of propaganda and censorship are essential tools to achieve this goal, and musical gestures which represent those actions are scattered throughout the piece.
This piece does not seek to attack any philosophy, but to demonstrate the act of general censorship and show the dichotomy between reality and theory when such practices are being put to use in real life.
Quiet Night Thought by Christopher Sim Mao Sheng (BMus2, YST)
Quiet Night Thought is titled after the original Chinese poem of the same name, which was written by Tang Chinese poet, Li Bai (李白), who flourished from 701 to 762. This piece was composed based off two frameworks called Musical Calligraphy and Musical Phonology. Divided into four movements representing the four stanzas of the poem, the piece loosely attempts to represent the nostalgia and yearning for home through various moods including happiness, anxiousness, love and anger. The melodic elements are also composed to imitate the process of writing out Chinese characters, however, it is not necessary to know how to read Chinese characters. The ultimate goal of this piece is to narrate a poem within a systematic framework based of the rules and conventions of Chinese character construction, as well delivering a compelling story that is both joyous, sorrowful and thrilling.
Quiet Night Thought
The Moonlight before my bed,
Perhaps with frost on the ground.
I Lift my head and see the moon,
I Lower my head and I miss my home.