Monday, June 26, 2006

How visual arts may inspire


It intrigued me how the above piece of visual artwork could inspire so many musical compositions.

This evening after a homevisit, I attended the presentation of the compositions by Les Six Du Singapur. For those who have missed it, there is yet another one on this Wednesday's evening at 7.30 p.m. at the Esplanade Concourse. For more details, please see Emily's post titled: Samstag, Juni 24, 2006, Les Six @ The Esplanade.

Contemporary music has yet been something that I am able to comprehend, but it was helpful to hear the composers themselves introduce to the audience how one could make sense of their works. I think this is the best part of contemporary music: To be able to get the first-hand information from the composer himself/herself on how the music could be experienced.

I am no critic. This post is not a critique either. Let me attempt to just share my experiences of this evening's performance.

An Effect Gones UnNoticed by Yuan Peiying has gotten my ears to listen out intently to decipher what that sound in the background was. If I heard correctly, the composer herself later revealed it was the sound of the pedal from the piano. I quite like the concept behind this work. If I got it right, the idea behind this work is to remind us: slow down, smell the roses, and listen out for the simple things in life.(?)

I experienced the work by Kwong Jie Bao as a form of three-dimensional music. Actually, it felt more than three-dimensional to me. It seemed that the different speakers emitted different sounds at varying times. Members of the audience were even invited to walk about the stage to experience the spatial effect of the music. I might have stood up and walk about if not for a pain in the abdominal. Ah...that could be the result of eating dinner too late. Now I know that I should not eat dinner too late.

Emily's Summer Freeze has an interesting concept of having a constant voice from the electronics, and a varying voice from the violin. It was quite interesting to have the artwork right in front of me and to see how even shadows from the artwork could inspire a piece of music.

I can't remember the title of the work by the composer, Carol. Blame this on what felt like discomfort due to gastric. Anyway, I like the idea of trying to experiment with one particular pitch through varying methods. I might have enjoyed it more if not for the nagging discomfort. Now, my question is: why A-flat?

If you remember what instrument I play, it would be easy to deduce that I tried to pay a bit more attention to Duo for Violin and Double Bass composed by Chen Zhangyi. I quite like the way harmonics were used on the double bass. The credit goes to the composer's fairly competent level of knowledge in strings instruments. But I thought that maybe there could have been more contrast between the violin and double bass. It sounded a little too subtle, for my taste at least.

Diana Soh's Ripples was as visually interesting as it was auditorily. This work is composed for and performed by a choir. I found myself trying to trace which member of the choir each sound had came from (both visually and auditorily). It struck me that ripples can sound quite engaging when we put our focus on them.

So, if the above description interests you, come lend your support to the budding composers this Wednesday. 7.30 p.m. at the Esplanade Concourse.

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