Monday, March 09, 2009

The recital to support: Emily's Senior Recital

Emily will be showcasing her senior recital soon. This is a recital to support since Emily is one of our local composers. I will be attending. See you there.

Who will be attending?

Senior Recital: Koh Pei Shan Emily, composition
19 March 2009, Thursday, 8pm
Conservatory Concert Hall, NUS, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
Admission is free.

Emily's Senior Composition Recital - "Life, Death and the In-Between"

Please join Emily and her friends for an evening of new works, as they explore the human psyche through quotes from the beginnings of western philosophy to modern japanese death poetry.

The colours for the night are pink and black. Please come dressed in these colours.


PROGRAM (Updated)

Si fallor, sum (2008)
for solo piano
~ Khoo Hui Ling, piano

The foundations of Western philosophy can be seen in ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (‘I think, therefore I am’), a philosophical statement used by René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637). Although the idea expressed in ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ is widely attributed to Descartes, many predecessors offer similar arguments — particularly St. Augustine of Hippo in De Civitate Dei: ‘Si […] fallor, sum’ (‘If I am mistaken, I am’) (book XI, 26).

“For if I am mistaken, I am. For one who does not exist cannot be mistaken either.” - St. Augustine of Hippo

Si fallor, sum is written as a concert-opening piece with its brash opening chords that wakes the audiences’ ears. These chords cast the foundations of the harmonic language and melodic motives to follow in the piece. Si fallor, sum is like a smorgasbord of sounds, created by the organic, spontaneous and continuous development of the opening gesture; like ‘Si […] fallor, sum’ had developed into what we see as Western philosophical thought today.


The Outside (2007)
for violin and cello
~ Qiang Xiao Xiao, violin
~ Ekachai Maskulrat, cello

The Outside was written with the imagery of oneself being imprisoned in a locked room while looking at his/her clone living out life through a closed window, while the clone leads the outside life with absolutely no idea of past, present and future, just like a machine in a human’s body.

This fictional scenario raises important questions about humanity with regards to power, freedom, societal influences surrounding environments, mind, body and soul. These questions are then explored by the violin and cello, who personify are oneself and the clone – same but different, one but not.


Last Words (2009)
for double bass and electronics
~ Emily Koh, double bass

Written as another musical eulogy for oneself, Last Words explores the human psyche through the last words of a myriad of dead people from different backgrounds and times such as, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to in famous Casablanca actor Humphrey Bogart.

As the psyche refers to forces in a human being that influence thought, behavior and personality, Last Words is really a circum-retrospect of one’s concept of self at the very last living moment.




At the End of the End (2008)
a chamber opera
for mezzo soprano and ensemble
~ Khor Ai Ming (mezzo soprano solo)
~ Rhoda Wong (soprano)
~ Michelle Yeoh (alto)
~ Gerald Tan (tenor)
~ Harris Ang (bass)
~ Sun Yi (percussion 1)
~ Su Shu (percussion 2)
~ Sun Cheng (percussion 3)
~ Ekachai Maskulrat (cello)
~ Low Shao Suan (piano/electronic organ)
~ Thatchatham Silsupan (electronist)
~ Jun Wong (conductor)

At the End of the End is a fictional account that tells the journey of the main protagonist, She (solo mezzo-soprano) in ‘The In-Between’ – the period of time and space between the end of one’s physical ‘life’ (commonly referred to as ‘death’) and the conclusion of one’s metaphysical being (whereby one ceases to exist anymore).

In At the End of the End, when a human being dies and loses physical form, the metaphysical self of the dead travels to a place called ‘The In-Between’. When She first arrives in ‘The In-Between’, she, with the other people in ‘The In-Between’ are confused and disorientated (I. Who’s There/Someone New). She wanders around her new surroundings and eventually realizes that she has visited this place before, in her dreams, and knows that her being there was because she needed to seek the true meaning of life, now that life has ended for her (II. I’m Here) in the ‘The In-Between’ (III. The In-Between).

While meeting with others, she gets acquainted with different ideas of the meaning of life between different philosophies (SATB Quartet) and different religions (electronics) (IV. The Meaning). Eventually, she meets with a higher power, The Voice (solo mezzo-soprano), oblivious to the fact that The Voice is actually another manifestation of herself. At the end, she realizes who The Voice is and understands that there is no higher power than one’s own being. With this, she becomes (V. Now I have Become), and leaves ‘The In-Between’.

Credit: Image taken from


emily said...

hey py!

there've been some changes to the program since then. but the show still goes on, more awesome then ever!

thanx for the publicity!

love em

oceanskies79 said...

emily: Yes, I've noticed. Looking forward to it.

oceanskies79 said...

Emily: I have updated the program.