West Winds, the Band of Bukit Batok Community Club, explores Adventurous Tales with renowned Japanese composer and conductor, Daisuke Shimizu, on 3rd March, Sunday, at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Since 2008, West Winds has been actively working on collaborations with popular wind band composers and conductors, to present concerts that have been well-received by the band scene.

“Since our establishment, we have worked with Ito Yasuhide, Jacob de Haan, James Swearingen, Jan van der Roost, Eiji Suzuki, and Prateep Suphanrojn. This time is no different as we embark on a journey with Daisuke Shimizu, who was introduced to us by Singaporean composer and conductor Benjamin Yeo,” said Band Advisor James Chua.

“Daisuke’s music is so often played by Singaporean school bands, and it was only fitting for us to invite him to conduct his own music with West Winds, and allow wind band lovers and our members to get up-close with the composer. This is in line with our mission to bring in composers that can help promote wind band music, and inspire young school band players to continue their music making journey even after leaving their school,” he continued.

Originally scheduled to take place in April of 2021, the concert was postponed due to the pandemic.

“We continued to keep in touch with Daisuke, and update him about the situation in Singapore to ensure that the collaboration will still happen when the time is ready. Indeed it finally happened and we will be performing under his direction this Sunday. We are all very honoured to have him in Singapore this year,” James highlighted.

Having performed many of Daisuke’s music in past concerts such as “Celebrate”, “Song of Gaia”, “Tale of Neverland”, “Jasper”, “Where Dreams Are Born” just to name a few, it is with much anticipation that West Winds looked forward to this collaboration with Daisuke.

“The pieces that we chose for this Sunday’s concert are mainly based on the theme Adventurous Tales, and we will feature other Daisuke’s pieces that we have not performed before but related to this theme. These include Adventure Tale of Professor Alex, Sea of Wisdom, and Skyscrapers,” said Music Director ME6 Philip Tng, who will also be conducting the band.

“As Daisuke’s music will be featured in the second half of the concert, I have decided that the first half will have a representation of different adventures; thus pieces relating to the idea of sea, land, air and space were considered,” he said.

“Songs of Sailor and Sea immediately came to my mind as it was the time when I read the passing of Robert W. Smith, a great man whom I have met when I was in the US. I wanted to honour him for his contributions to the wind band scene internationally; thus choosing to begin the concert with his music.

Flight – Adventure in the Sky” by Benjamin Yeo was selected for obvious reasons. It’s a piece that represents an adventure in the sky, written by a Singaporean who is still contributing to the local music scene and is the one who introduced Daisuke to West Winds for this concert!

To end the first half of the concert, I wanted an impactful piece and one that challenges the musicians. The music of John Williams, in this case, Star Wars, is most apt as it transcends different generations to bring the first half to a close,” he explained.

Having made his first appearance in 2009, this year is Daisuke Shimizu’s second trip to Singapore.

“I am happy to be conducting West Winds as our concert was delayed due to COVID. I know West Winds has played a lot of my pieces, and I can finally meet the players and share with them more about my music.”

The programme in the second half of the concert features his winning work from the 4th edition of WASBE’s International Composition Contest in 2023, “The Skyscrapers”. His other pieces include “Immortal Anthem”, “Sea of Wisdom”, “All Wishes”, and “Adventure Tale of Professor Alex”.

“I am sure everyone knows how good West Winds is. So during my preparation with them, I want to help convey my appreciation to West Winds, by shaping them to sound even better in the concert with my music,” Daisuke said.

“Although the band and I don’t speak the same language, we are able to connect and experience many emotions through the music, so that we can all think and feel the same way,” Daisuke continued.

“I hope the audience can feel the music with West Winds and me on stage.”


Written By Editor

A contributing editor at TBP.