Sound Bridges: Promoting Diversity and Originality Across Arts and Cultures Through Festival Initiatives

Keynote
29 August 2020
16:15 - 17:00 hrs (GMT+7)
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Since 2009, I have been organizing the “Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival” through which I have been fortunate to meet and work with many established leading composers, musicians and performance artists from the South East Asia region as well as guests from Germany and Hong Kong. After many years of discussion, research and collaborations with my composer colleagues in the South East Asian region, we are now collectively promoting the creation of new music integrating elements of our own cultural legacies through fieldwork and studies with local masters. 


This work is an important step towards building bridges between our past and the present, embracing our rich heritage and deepening our understanding of the essence of Asian musical philosophies. In 2003, under the support of the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC) and my Studio C team, we established the bi-annual festival “SMCC Contemporary Music Festival” which has been running ever since. This festival aims at creating an artistic space through educational workshops, participative concerts and new audience outreach. The primary objective of this festival is to foster deep intercultural exchanges between artists from Southeast Asia and beyond enabling many young composers to collaborate with artists from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds to bring interdisciplinary projects to fruition. The presentation of those original compositions is the highlight of the festival, showcasing creative expressions which combine elements from sonic arts, digital arts, visual arts, traditional and contemporary music mixing together Western and Asian instruments, modern and traditional dance as well as improvisation. In this talk, I’ll highlight several creative and original compositions composed especially for the “SoundBridge” festivals throughout the years. 


I will also share thoughts about my recent new virtual collaboration composition “Wave on Earth” for pipa solo, Chinese calligraphy with visual interactive projection. In this composition, I was very fortunate to work closely with our “SoundBridge” festival community members: the pipa virtuoso Ms. Qi Jie (China), master of Chinese calligrapher Mr. Pang Heng Khan (Malaysia), and visual artist/composer Dr. Jean-David Caillouët (France/Thailand) to strengthen the spirits of intimacy collaboration between artists in different fields and different countries.