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Composer of The Month for Apr 2024: GOH Yu Jiang Andre





Since 2020, the Composers Society of Singapore (CSS) has been releasing a monthly series for our Musings section, Composer of the Month! The Composer of the Month for Apr 2024 is GOH Yu Jiang Andre. Andre is a passionate composer who is currently studying Chemical Engineering in Temasek Polytechnic. He is also a recent participant of the Young Composers Forum, with his piece Chromatography being featured by WeirdAftertaste at the Singapore Composers Festival 2024.


Interviewer: MOK Peck Yim


1.Could you tell us about your musical training/education background?


I wasn't classically trained from young, instead I played the trombone in my primary school band. I learnt to read music in the form of solfege but in the key of Bb, meaning I read Bb as my "Do" instead of C. I learnt music theory from watching videos and in Music O-Level classes from Secondary 3.


2. What/who are some of your biggest musical influences?


I think for contemporary music I draw a lot of inspiration from Iannis Xenakis. I watched a video on his score in graphical notation and it gave me ideas to use lines to write music instead of conventional notation.


3. What music are you working on at the moment?


I'm writing a band piece for my secondary school band. It's called Amoeba Dispatch, because Amoeba meaning a single cell organism, signifies that everyone in the band is one and Dispatch because I've written the piece in an overture-like style.


4. Do you have any advice for aspiring Singaporean composers?


I think that aspiring Singaporean composers should give it their all when writing music, enjoy the process, learn from their mistakes and most importantly, find networks and groups to mingle around with, learning from other composers is the fastest way to improve and find your own style of composition. Also for those stuck in a rut when composing, it's important to take breaks because non-stop composing can cause burnouts which cause a greater lack of creativity in my opinion.

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