‘Have You Experienced?‘ is a 5 day composition laboratory and competition initiated by ADDO Chamber Orchestra to mentor emerging composers in Singapore.
“In most labs or competitions, music is created for the usual groups such as the string quartet, pierrot ensemble, or full sized symphony orchestra. As it is seldom for works of smaller chamber orchestra to be created, we decided to curate a program that would look into that aspect,” said Clarence Tan, resident conductor of ADDO Chamber Orchestra.
“Unlike in other countries where projects of this nature are quite common, it is a relatively fresh concept in Singapore. There were a few other lab projects created by local music groups in the past, but this is by far the largest scale.”
Across the event span, the composers will have the opportunity to work closely with the orchestra musicians, under the guidance of jury members Dr Hoh Chung Shih and Dr Zechariah Goh Toh Chai.
There will also be workshops held at Siglap South Community Centre, with sharing sessions by Clarence himself, Dr Hoh, Dr Goh, Quinnance, and, Sarah Wong on notating and writing for contemporary Harp techniques.
“We have also included a competition at the end of the project, so that the composers have the opportunity to refine their craft with the mentors before the finale presentation. The winner will get a cash prize and an opportunity to collaborate with Quinnuance and ADDO in 2 concerts the following year!”
As part of the Laboratory, two concerts will be presented, featuring works of our time.
The first concert will see the orchestra perform Shostakovich’s ‘Chamber Symphony No 2‘ and Dr Hoh’s ‘Singing Forgetting‘, with emerging clarinetist Abner Epstein perform ‘Nielsen’s Concerto for Clarinet‘.
The finale concert will be the highlight of the laboratory where the works of each composer will be performed, with audience playing a part in selecting their favourite work.
“I chose Nielsen because it is a work centered around breaking barriers; as derived from the technical proficiency to mental versatility required to conquer the piece; which is what I believe music and art should be all about. I found it very interesting that the Concerto is bi-tonal in nature and quite capricious in terms of mood, attributing to the clarinetist for whom this work was written – he suffered from a bipolar disorder. I think I might have developed a bipolar disorder myself (just kidding!) My greatest challenge was literally trying to find the “insanity” that is required to bring out the full meaning in the music,” expressed Abner.
With the project kicking off in days to come, Clarence and the ADDO musicians hope to make it a biennial event that will eventually become a platform to launch other works.
“With orchestras in Europe getting smaller, we hope that this new set of repertoire can be explored along with other new works to keep them moving, instead of performing old ones.”
“And since we are living in this Time, we should embrace it, and try to explore new possibilities.”
Have Your Experienced?
Composition Laboratory and Competition for Emerging Composers
13 – 17 July 2017
Composers: Avik Chari, Gu Wei, Joseph Lim, Tan Tiag Yi, Zhang Kangyi
A contributing editor at TBP.