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Grace Sen: Reflections on YCF 2023



The YCF was an enriching experience, thanks to the opportunity to consult world-class composers and to work with wonderful musicians. I was challenged by the unfamiliar instrumentation (especially the toy piano) and ultimately learnt a lot about developing material within constraints. The discussions with my mentor Dr Joyce Koh were thought-provoking, teaching me to think beyond the technicalities of compositional technique to formulate a wider vision and direction for the piece. The opportunity to work with weird aftertaste was also invaluable, and the musicians provided helpful feedback and suggestions, ultimately playing an important role in the final product. Overall, it was an experience I am very grateful for, and one that has helped me to grow as a young composer.

The 2nd edition of CSS’ Young Composers Forum took place from October 2023 to March 2024. Under the tutelage of senior CSS composers Joyce Koh, John Sharpley and Yuting Tan, 9 young composers were selected to undergo a 6-month creative period of meet-the-musician sessions, lectures, individual lessons and workshop sessions, in order to develop new pieces for local new music collective Weird Aftertaste. YCF 2023 culminated in a final concert at the Singapore Composers Festival 2024, which took place on 23 March 2024.

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