Raffles Winds (RWinds) returns to the stage with ‘CODA XIV: Surf and Turf!‘ on 3 September at the SOTA Concert Hall after a 2-year hiatus to explore music written in reflection of the Earth, nature, lands and seas.
“We’re really looking forward to our performance this year, after the pandemic. We were a little uncertain in the early stages of planning, as it wasn’t clear whether the COVID situation would get better or worse. We’re glad we took the leap of faith to hold CODA again this year. Many of our members are very happy to dust off their old instruments, and play again together again in RWinds. It’s also great to see new recently-graduated players join us, as they didn’t have the chance to do so during the pandemic,” said Justin Liu, Chairperson for the CODA concert.
Under the batons of alumni conductors Lee Jin Jun and Darren Sng, the band is glad to be reunited again after a long time.
“We’ve really missed performing with our alumni conductors for the past years. It’s always a pleasure to rehearse with them as they bring a special energy to the room, and are always so passionate about the music they’re trying to create,” he continued.
The theme of CODA XIV was conceptualised through a casual discussion between the two alumni conductors, when they simply met for an intercontinental chat about their artistic direction for the upcoming RWinds season.
“Having emerged from a global pandemic, it felt like an obvious decision to pay a musical homage to life and our planet that inhabits it. This led to us adopting a unique approach to our concert structure where half of our music relates to water and the other half relates to land, with the cheeky title – Surf and Turf,” said conductor Darren Sng.
The binary structure of the programme allows for a fascinating juxtaposition of two works ‘Vesuvius’ and ‘Loch Lomond’ by Frank Ticheli, as well as two similarly contrasting scores from Disney animations ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’.
“Aside from pieces that may be familiar to wind band enthusiasts, we also see value in diving deep into (perhaps) lesser-known gems which therefore lets musicians and audiences experience a broader range of repertoire. One of these works is Michael Markowski’s ‘City Trees’ – a lush yet stately piece that speaks of bravery and strength through the image of trees rooted in harsh urban concrete.”
“Lastly, we are also thrilled to feature Meditation Under the Midnight Sun by Singaporean composer Gu Wei, whose experience sitting under a half-lit Norwegian sky at midnight inspired this intricately intimate work.”
A contributing editor at TBP.