SINGAPORE CHINESE MUSIC FESTIVAL 2021
01/09 - 30/09
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The CO Peeps &
The CO Peeps & Chamber Kakis
China Cultural Centre
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Blooming Flowers・ Fooling Moon | Qian Dong Heng
Wind Mystique | Sulwyn Lok
Medley of Sichuan Folk Songs | arranged by Wang Chenwei
Momentum | Chow Junyi
Biryani | Wang Chenwei
The Ancient Tea-Horse Road | Li Bochan
Programme is correct at time of publication and may be subject to change without prior notice.
Lu Jietao, Conductor
Download concert programme book here.
Blooming Flowers · Fooling Moon
This delightful re-imagination of the Chinese classic Blooming Flowers, Full Moon is presented in different musical styles from around the world, such as the Malaysian Joget, Jewish Klezmer and Brazilian Bossa Nova. The original theme from the classic is also presented, but with a playful twist. Are you able to identify what is different about it?
Wind Mystique imagines the wind across the four seasons as a metaphor for the passing of cultures and traditions, and the cycle of life.
Beginning with a sparse atmosphere set by the solo xiao, this onset of Spring is characterized by the yu mode, and long, asymmetric melodic lines, presenting a sense of limbo. While each instrument joining the music initially seemed independent, they soon weave together as the music goes into the gong mode, carrying a sense of warmth and germination, embracing new life.
Summer comes about with an angular dance in 5, where harsh techniques from the instruments yearn to break out from the arid plains. Passionate cries from the erhu and xiao represent a desire to find their own voice and challenge the status quo.
As the music settles into Autumn, the xiao invites us into a space of contemplation. Poetic and mature in nature, the music loosely draws inspiration from the timeless nanyin genre.
Entering a desolate landscape, a lone yangqin paints a fragile portrait of falling snow. This gentle, subtle repetitive pattern, derived from the melody of Autumn, form the backdrop, as the zhonghu and xiao slowly join the musical texture. With their melodies that are reminiscent from the Spring and Autumn chapters, they once again bring back the sense of warmth, changing our perspective of the yangqin's flowing pattern to become the wind that brings us movement and flow in life. As the music trails off, we find both a sense of resolution and reemergence in this winter.
Medley of Sichuan Folk Songs
Commissioned by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in 2016, this medley brings new life to the Sichuan folk songs “Love Song of Kangding”, “Carrying Goods with my Shoulder Pole” and “The Sunrise Brings a Joyful Day” through fusion with jazz and disco music.
Commissioned by Singapore Ding Yi Music Company and premiered at The First Chinese Chamber Music Festival in Singapore in December 2013. “Momentum” begins with an ostinato motive that is inspired by the Purple Bamboo Tune. The music later developed by imitating the interlocking rhythmic pattern that is inspired by Indonesian Gamelan music, and using the idea of minimalism to showcase the timbre of Chinese Ensemble.
Biryani (also spelt “briyani” or “biriyani”) is an Indian rice dish flavoured with ghee and spices. It is popular throughout the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora, including Singapore.
To reflect the Persian origin of biryani, a Hindustani rāga (melodic mode) originating from Persia was chosen – the rāga Yaman. Also named “Kalyāṇ” (meaning “auspicious”), its counterpart in Carnatic music is the rāga Kalyāṇi. (Coincidentally, there is a type of biryani also named “Kalyāṇi”.) This rāga corresponds to the Western Lydian scale, but with an important characteristic – the tonic never ascends stepwise to the 2nd scale degree, and the 5th never ascends stepwise to the 6th scale degree.
The piece begins with an ālāp (slow introduction) where the Dadi plays nuanced melodic figurations over tānpūrā-like drone notes by the Pipa and Daruan. In the fast section, the 12-beat tala cycle Ektāl is maintained by a rhythmic ostinato bass that imitates tablā performances of this tāla. The music alternates between recurring tutti sections in regular meter and solo sections in cross-rhythm with the tāla. The rhythms become increasingly complex, driving the piece to a climactic ending.
Originally commissioned as a Western wind quartet by K口U in 2020, this piece was rearranged by the composer specially for this concert.
The Ancient Tea-Horse Road
Composed by Li Bochan in 2016, the piece was inspired by the ancient tea-horse road, an important trading route located at the hub of the famous Silk Road. This piece depicts the positive feelings and emotions, and is synonymous with the road's vibrant national integration atmosphere.
The CO Peeps Ensemble
Established in December 2020, The CO Peeps is a youth community for community arts. The group comprises young musicians of different ages from all parts of Singapore who come together to engage themselves in Chinese music-related projects. They pride themselves in being an inclusive and diverse community where all are welcome no matter their skill level or background, providing opportunities for everyone to learn and have fun.
The SCMFest team is formed from a small section of the community who wanted to come together to represent The CO Peeps community at the Singapore Chinese Music Festival 2021.
Dizi: Chiu Jing Hua, Lee Jiun Kang, Khor Yee Sing
Sheng: Lee De Jie
Suona: Ee Peng Han Ethan
Yangqin: Ong Weida
Pipa: Chen Shu Xian June, Parveen Kaur
Zhongruan/Daruan: Wong Wai Kit
Guzheng: Sim Kee
Gaohu/Erhu: Wong Xin Ru, Winni
Erhu: Darryl Ooi Heng Yik, Phang Kangqu, Teh Kai Yin Cheney
Zhonghu: Ng Xi
Cello: Teo Yi Yang
Bass: Lim Roo Yee
Percussion: Tan Jia Le
Friends possess an indescribable bond, and what better way to showcase that camaraderie than through music? Formed by a team of Chinese music enthusiasts, the Chamber Kakis is united by its members’ love of exploring ensemble music together. Having previously clinched the First Prize of the 2014 National Chinese Music Competition (Ensemble Category) as the Ding Yi Youth Ensemble, the group has since performed in venues such as the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, Singapore Conference Hall, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. The ensemble had previously staged a full recital of Chinese chamber music in 2015, premiering multiple works from local youth composers.
Huqin: Ng Rui Jun
Cello: Ooi Wei Herr
Yangqin: Anson Lim Jia Hann
Ruan: Qian Dong Heng
Pipa: Ng Biyu
Dizi: Goh Ting Xuan Beverly
Sheng: Cai Xiaohan
Lu Jietao, Conductor
He began his musical journey in Victoria School Chinese Orchestra, picking up the Erhu under the tutelage of SCO Zhonghu musician Wilson Neo. Despite not taking private lessons, his hardwork and effort would eventually land him the Mapletree-TENG Academy Scholarship in 2018, kickstarting his formal education in music.
Since then, apart from honing his craft, Jietao has been proactively learning and expanding his knowledge of different styles of music. He is currently the principal Zhonghu player of Cheng San Chinese Orchestra and has also guest played for many other local performing art groups.
In his exploration of music, Jietao discovered his passion for orchestral conducting, after being appointed the student conductor of Victoria Junior College Chinese Orchestra from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, he participated in a virtual conducting masterclass led by SCO Music Director, Maestro Tsung Yeh.
In the same year, Jietao founded The CO Peeps to bring young chinese musicians of different skill levels together to build an opportunistic and supportive community for everyone to learn music and have fun. He hopes to be able empower youths to engage and contribute to community arts.