Monday 20 September 2010

Symphony Project - at work

A very fruitful working session with Huang-yi and HHH today. We spent the whole afternoon at the DAC (Digital Arts Center) in Zhishan. At this stage of our collaboration, I was still tip-toeing tentatively. Only one movement was finished. Two others were just in a state of draft. Working without the dancers was a good idea. I presented HuangYi what I had so far and he said the music didn’t have this sense of energy let loose.
“Can you do something like Xenakis?” he asked.
“I’m not Xenakis…’
“What I want is to have the strings follow the same pattern.”
Improvising was the best solution, so I asked HHH to get his violin and just follow the movement of my hands as I, myself, would follow the dance on the computer screen while HuangYi would record it on his digital camera. I did multiple takes on different registers, but HHH would have to watch the video capture of the first take and take direction from the other ‘me’. I put all the takes together on the computer and managed to complete half of the movement. Honestly, it sounded like a musical interpretation of a car race in Monaco to me, but HuangYi seemed very pleased with the result. We watched how it matched the dance, and it did indeed very well. It was playful and even lively. I was pleasantly surprised by the result myself, even if it’s another evidence that I compose music in the most unusual way!
We will meet again next week to finish this movement and this time reverse the process. I would come up with the music first and HuangYi will choreograph according to the music. I am so glad and relieved we have finally found the right way to work together. Symphony Project is my first piece with him so a phase of trials and errors was necessary. After weeks of feeling empty and lost, I finally reconnect with a sense of self satisfaction. I have found a way. Not just for the dance piece.

Working on Symphony Project

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