The newly formed Re:Cinta made its public concert debut at the Esplanade Recital Studio this week, presenting several local premieres of ensemble music to a full house audience of mostly family and friends.
An amalgam of two separate words – Re (热), which is the Chinese for burning, and Cinta, which is the Malay word for passion, Re:Cinta started in May 2022 when a group of music ‘nerds’ came together and thought it would be ‘cool’ to start their own wind band.
“Initially, I wanted to form a much smaller group of wind players, but one thing led to another and we basically grew into a much larger group which performed at Changi Airport,” said Xavier Hui, founder of Re:Cinta.
Setup as a platform where players are gathered to read and play less commonly performed works, Re:Cinta is also a place where its members should strive for great excellence, and push themselves to become the best versions both musically and in other areas of life.
“As seen in our recent chamber concert, we aim to really provide fresh perspective into the local band scene.”
“I think one thing that stands out for our group is our drive to try new things. We are especially open to collaborating with local composers to create new band works. I’m particularly open to composers who are daring enough to writing beyond traditional cliches, and really pushing the band medium to greater heights,” he continued.
A no stranger to the band scene, having graduated from the Eunoia Junior College Symphonic Band, the band medium is one that Xavier particularly enjoy as a composer, for its versatility in tone colour as well as its widespread prevalence across the country.
“At first glance, when we think of band music, we think about certain cliches and tropes (sometimes overused) which at some point becomes stale and predictable. Not to discredit such music here; works in this form are often pedagogical in nature, and I do understand that it plays an important role in the musical development of young musicians. If you are a band musician, you would at some point have come across and played these works with your bands. But is this all to band music?” Xavier said.
“I’ve been reflecting quite a bit after hearing this delightful work called Kinderszenen (which was the set piece for the 2023 JC SYF), which cleverly integrates elements from new music in a more traditional context. There is a need to think more about the different aesthetic possibilities when it comes to writing band music, and hence the direction of Re:Cinta to promote new band music. This is not to say we are the first or only artistic group to be doing so at the moment, but we do hope that we can contribute in every way to shape our current musical landscape in an interesting direction!” he added.
Going forward, Re:Cinta will be holding a few performances next year, such as a large scale concert, and also the return of the Chamber Explorations series, which acts as a platform to engage local composers.
“Re:Cinta will be a place where we present new works in a new light. Do keep your eyes open for less commonly played works during our concerts!”