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CSS presents: Singapore Composers Festival

CSS is proud to share about its recently organized Singapore Composers Festival that took place on the 23rd of March. The Festival featured talks by two of our very own CSS members, two concerts showcasing works by our very own local talents, and a cross-country collaboration with the Malaysia Composers Collective! The event was a resounding success, with a large audience turnout. Many compositional ideas were exchanged and connections forged, all of which helped in further boosting the contemporary music scene in Singapore.

<Compositional Talks by CSS members>

The talks conducted by CSS members Danny Imson and Pete Kellock highlighted interesting ways in exploring compositional processes. Danny Imson's talk focused on exploring alternative compositional approaches through the lens of games. His invaluable sharing is useful in equipping us with non-conventional methods on teaching composition to our future generation.

The talk by Pete Kellock focused on designing new instruments on software for maximum expressivity. Pete's wide expertise in Max/MSP, Java and C were clearly showcased in his explanation and navigation of the codes, and the attendees gained a better understanding of utilizing these softwares to their fullest potential.

<Young Composers Forum Concert>

The Young Composers Forum Concert featured the works of nine young student composers who worked with CSS mentors Dr. Joyce Koh, Dr. Tan Yuting and Dr John Sharpley over the past 6 months. These new music works provided a refreshing take on the diverse compositional practices in Singapore. Their works were brought to life by the talented new music specialist ensemble Weird Aftertaste. The concert definitely points to a bright future ahead for young Singapore composers, and we hope that they will continue to hone their compositional craft.

Featured student composers and their pieces:

Xavier Hui - enthalpy III

Tan Zheng Rui - inertia

Verena Low - Opulence

Andre Goh - Chromatography

Tjan Yi Xuan - entropy IV: Fallouts

Chan Hao Li - You by the Merlion

Grace Sen - Medea

Mah Ji Rui - Phantasm

Joel Tan - Cubic Ribbon

<Composers Society of Singapore X Malaysia Composers Collective Concert>

The last event of the day featured a cross-society collaboration between the Composers Society of Singapore and the Malaysia Composers Collective. An interesting and diverse line-up of works by composers from both countries were showcased. The local new music collective, Weird Aftertaste, was instrumental in bringing out the different tones and colours of these stories, many of which drew inspiration from cultures and places around the world. For instance, CSS composer Avik Chari's <Cities> was a response to the vibrant pulse of life in Singapore, whilst MCC composer Ainolnaim Azizol's <Miroirs of Malay Rebab: Menghadap Rebab> was inspired by the enchanting gesture movements of Makyong - a traditional Malay dance-theatre.


In all, the Singapore Composers Festival was a resounding success, all of which would not be possible without the support from various counterparts. The Composers Society of Singapore is immensely grateful for the support from its various sponsors: the Asian Civilization Museum, the National Arts Council, and the START fund. The CSS would also like to express its gratitude towards the following individuals: Ferdinand de Bakker, Andrea Giam and Pete Kellock for their invaluable support. Sincere thanks goes out as well to Weird Aftertaste for their support in promoting and showcasing new music, the media and sound crew for ensuring the event ran smoothly, CSS mentors Dr. Tan Yuting, Dr. John Sharpley and Dr. Joyce Koh for their time in mentoring the next generation of Singapore composers, the various composers who came for the event, and the audience members for supporting the new music scene in Singapore. Last but not least, the CSS would also like to thank its members: Hoh Chung Shih, Chua Jon Lin, Alicia de Silva, Mok Peck Yim, Gu Wei, Ng Yu Hng, Ng Weihan Angela and Toh Yan Ee for their tireless contributions in planning and executing the event from start to end.

The CSS hopes to organize more of such events in the future and we hope that you will continue to support us in forging a vibrant new music scene in Singapore!



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