5 Jun 2018

Rayner Naili to bring the sounds of Sabah to the Asia-Pacific stage

After showcasing Malaysia's young compositional talents from both the West and East coasts, the next representative at the upcoming ACL festival hails from the Borneo state of Sabah across the South China Sea.

28-year-old Rayner Naili, born in Sabah, will be presenting his chamber work piece Serpihan Mimpi for flute and violin (Fragments of Dream) at the festival's Young Composers Competition, and sees the opportunity as a "breakthrough" for Sabahan composers.

Naili started learning music as a self-taught musician, and then decided to get proper music education at the Faculty of Music of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) from 2008 until 2013, where he received a dean's list for his Bachelor of music in composition.

He then furthered his studies in composition at the University of Manchester, UK, where he studied composition with Richard Whalley. Rayner’s works have been performed and workshopped with many professional musicians such as the Quartor Danel, Trio Atem, Clare Hammond etc.

Currently, Naili is teaching at the Faculty of Music in UiTM.

On his four-part work, Naili says, "The piece was inspired by the idea of a journey in a dream. There are many occasions in a dream that switch from one emotion to another in relation to the dimensions of the dream.

"These dimensions could be related to each other or could be different from one another. Although these fragments of the journey are scattered, it's still in one set of a dream, hence, it makes a story that has different sets of emotions. These emotions and dimensions were composed and arranged accordingly as there are several parts in music composition."

The four short movements of the work are titled: I. Samar, II. Celaru, III. Sepi, IV. Riuh.

It begins with a conventional dialogue between the two instruments, but as the movements unfold, Naili introduces more extended techniques and flexible meters, and the tonality of the opening soon gives way to more unconventional sounds from the instruments, including jet whistle tones and scratch tones (excerpt below).

On his musical style, Naili says, "My music has always been influenced with interlocking elements, rhythmically and harmonically. This could be influenced of my growing up with the traditional music of Sabah, such as gong tunes, kulintangan, togunggak etc, which are largely using interlocking as their main element.

"Apart from that, I have always been fascinated with Einstein’s theory of relativity, where the speed of light is a universal measurement of time. From this perspective, I usually try to develop my music using these two elements of interlocking and relativity."

He said going to Taiwan for the 35th ACL "would be a breakthrough for me or any Sabahan contemporary composer".

"It would be an exciting experience to explore other composers’ works and hopefully learn something for personal development, and promote Malaysian contemporary music at the same time," said Naili.

History of the ACL Young Composers Competition

The ACL (Asian Composers League) comprises representative bodies from across the Asia Pacific that holds regular festivals every 12 to 18 months around the region. Its Young Composers Competition is a platform for young composers around the region to show their talent.

As the Malaysian representative in ACL, the Malaysian Composers Collective (MCC) has sent many young talents to the regional platform, and each and every representative has done the country proud in showing their highly individual musical voices. In  particular, 2011 (Taiwan), Jessica Cho won third prize for her work Five Little Pieces for Piano, while in 2014 (Tokyo), Ainolnaim Azizol won second prize for his Fragments I for trumpet duo.

2011 Taipei - Jessica Cho, won 3rd Prize
2013 Singapore - Ainolnaim Azizol
2014 Tokyo - Ainolnaim Azizo, won 2nd Prize
2015 Manila - Sayyid Shafiee
2016 Hanoi - Raja Mohamad Alif  
2018 Taipei - Rayner Naili

1 Jun 2018

ACL festival in Taiwan to feature five Malaysian composers

The 2018 ACL Conference and Festival will take place from Oct 19 to 23 at Taipei, Taiwan.

On the programme are works by Malaysian composers Vivian Chua (photo), Adeline Wong, Ainolnaim Azizol, Wong Chee Wei and Young Composer Competition representative, Sabahan 28-year-old Rayner Naili.

Vivian CHUA (Malaysia): Mercu Kegemilangan

Chamber Music A (For 4-5 players)
Adeline WONG (Malaysia): Interweaves

Chamber Music B (For 1-3 players)
Chee Wei WONG (Malaysia): A Song In Vain IIn

Electroacoustics / Multimedia
Ainolnaim AZIZOL (Malaysia): Clouds

Young Composers Competition
Rainer Naili: Serpihan Mimpi for flute and violin

According to the organisers, the selection committee carefully selected 66 works out of 238 applications sent by the ACL member organizations.  The selected 66 works are from:

Australia: 3
Hong Kong: 8
Indonesia: 3
Israel: 5
Japan: 3
Korea: 7
Malaysia: 5
New Zealand: 4
Philippines:  3
Singapore: 7
Thailand: 1
Vietnam: 1

and 16 works from the host, Taiwan.

The full schedule and details are now on the festival website

30 May 2018

Calling young pianists! The 6th Asean International Chopin Piano Competition is here

Applications for the 6th Asean International Chopin Piano Competition is now open. Aspiring musicians can now pit their talent against their peers at this regular KL event organised by the Persatuan Chopin Malaysia.

Categories are as follows:

• “Young Talents - Born in year 2009 and younger
• Primary School - Born in year 2005 and younger
• Junior School - Born in year 2002 and younger
• Senior School/College - Born in year 1999 and younger
• Open Category - No age limit

For forms contact the association at http://chopinsociety.com.my

Deadline for submission is 15th October 2018.


25 Feb 2018

Spectra 2018 is back in October, Shah Alam

After Spectra 2016 at Publika, Spectra 2018 is back and will be held on 24-26 October, featuring immersive sound performances with visuals and movements from local and international sound / digital artists.

This year's event will be held at the UiTM Faculty Of Music in Shah Alam, Selangor.

About the event:

SPECTRA is an international biennial event, which aims to promote and provide an alternative platform of expression for composers and musicians alike.

It encourages technologically based interaction between the musician (music performers, sound artists, composers), visual artists and the music aficionado while reaching out and establishing networks within the arts industry.

The festival will be used to promote and foster the innovative and creative contemporary culture through experimental and explorative techniques with technology while at the same time introducing and spreading information about the potentials of technological-science applicability within the realm of composition-performance-education in music, digital media production and creative entrepreneur sector.

From Malaysia Electronic Music Festival – SPECTRA 2014, we had rebranded the festival into Malaysia Music Technology Festival, which offers a wide range of music technology based activities and artistic components. The recent festival was held over the course of two days, beginning on 22 until 23 October 2016 at White Box Publika Solaris Dutamas Kuala Lumpur.

With the support from our local and international partners such as Goethe Institute, Birmingham Conservatoire, INTEGRA Lab, Silpakorn University, Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, UNIMAS, Roland Asia Pacific, Yamaha Pro Audio, Redbull Malaysia, Shure Malaysia and Toccata Studio,  SPECTARA offers three core activities;
1) music performance consists of electroacoustic-visual art performances, electronic or synth-visual art performances and sound installations for fixed media featuring works from around the world such as Thailand, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, UK, US and local;

2) exhibition on latest music technology products showcased by music companies and;

3) workshop on music technology based production by professional musician from the industry such as CEE Bass Sekolah and the Venopian Solitude (Red Bull Music Academy alumni).

For more information visit https://spectrafestival.weebly.com


1 Feb 2018

Call for scores: ACL Taiwan festival 2018

Taiwan will be hosting the 35th ACL Festival and Conference in October, 2018. The festival is inviting a call for scores for various sections as detailed below:

Orchestra: 8~12 mins.  Usual instrumentation; may be concertos, but the composers should invite and fully support their soloist(s).

Chinese Orchestra: 8~12 mins.  Instrumentation should be limited within:
4 Gaohu, 4 Erhu I, 4 Erhu II, 6 Zonghu, 4 Gehu, 2 Beigehu, 2 Xiaoruan, 3 Zhongruan, 2 Daruan, 2  Pipa, 2 Yangqin, 1 Guzheng, 1 Gaodi, 2 Zhongdi, 1 Xindi, 2 Soprano Sheng, 1 Alto Sheng, 1  Bass Sheng, 1 Soprano Suona, 1 Alto Suona, 1 Tenor Suona, 4 Percussion

Choral Music: within 8 mins. Chamber Choir with 18 singers:
5 Sopranos, 4 Altos, 4 Tenors, 5 Basses.  With or without piano accompaniment.  Prepared piano is not possible.

Chamber Music for Chinese and Western Instruments: within 10 mins.  For 6~10 players.
Chinese instruments should be limited within: 1 Erhu, 1 Pipa, 1 Di, 1 Sheng, 1 Zheng
Western Instruments should be limited within: 1 Flute/Picc, 1 B♭/A Clarinet, 1 Alto Saxophone, 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Piano.  Prepared piano is not possible.

Chamber Music: within 10 mins.  Instrumentation should be limited within:
1 Flute/Picc, 1 B♭/A Clarinet, 1 Alto Saxophone, 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Piano.  Prepared piano is not possible.
A: For 4~5 players
B: For 1~3 players
May include traditional instruments, but the composers should invite and fully support the musician(s).

Percussion Ensemble: within 10 mins.  Up to 6 percussionists.

Electroacoustics/Multimedia: 5~10 mins, works more than 10 mins. will be less considered.
Category: tape music/acousmatic music (up to 8-channel), solo instrument/voice + electronics, ensemble+ electronics (no more than 3 instruments), audio-visual work.

Submission material: recording (CD,DVD), score (if with instrument(s)), technical specifications.

Deadline: all the required material should be RECEIVED by ACL-Taiwan BEFORE March 31, 2018.


Each applicant can submit up to 2 compositions. When a composition is selected to be performed in the festival, the applicant needs to provide a score and parts at no charge, and is responsible for clearing all the performance-related rights of the piece. If the composition includes traditional instruments that cannot be found in Taiwan, the applicant needs to provide the instruments for rehearsal and performing use, and to invite instrumentalists when needed.

2) The 35th ACL Conference and Festival Young Composers Competition
Within 8 mins. A work written for a duet of two heterogeneous instruments, from the following two groups respectively:

Group A: Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Double Bass
Group B: Flute/Picc, Oboe, B♭/A Clarinet and Bassoon

Each ACL country shall select a Young Composer Representative under the age of 30 (born after Oct. 19, 1987), and the score should be received by ACL-Taiwan BEFORE July 1, 2018.

25 Aug 2017

Catch the premiere of David Hamilton's Wood Haiku

Pianist-composer Jessica Cho will premiere award-winning New Zealand composer David Hamilton's new piece specially written for her, Wood Haiku, part of a series of piano works after he composed Water Haiku for the Malaysian Composers Collective's 15 minutes of Fame project.

He was inspired after listening to Cho's performance of Water Haiku to compose one haiku each for the other elements - Gold, Wood, Fire, Earth - to make up his suite Elemental Haiku.

The piece is mysterious, earthy and meditative, in contrast to the fluid, playful Water Haiku.

The performance of Wood Haiku, Water Haiku and other selected pieces by Johan Othman and other Asia Pacific composers will be accompanied by video imagery.

It will be part of the professor & teacher recital at the 'Let's Music' event at Gloria Musica School of Music in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur on 27 August, 2017.

The concert forms a week long series of classes, capped by this weekend's programme:

27/8 Sunday
9:30am-3:30pm Students Workshop

4:30-6pm Masterclass Students Recital (Free admission)

7-8:30pm 'Let's Music' professor & teacher Recital (RM50)

Address: 41-1, Jln Sri Bintang 2, Taman Sri Bintang, 52100 Kepong
Tel: 016-9008733, 016-2166335
Email: gloriamusica@hotmail.com


4 Jun 2017

Push the limits at KLEX 2017: Crossing Over, in November

The eighth edition of KLEX, the KL Experimental Film, Video and Music Festival, is looking for submissions! This year, our theme is “Crossing Over”. 
Crossing Over is the journey of departing from one point to another point. In genetics, the mechanism of crossing-over will result in genetic diversity. The process of crossing over brings information from one place to another. It can also refer to the transformation from one form to another. It signifies change, with recognition of the sources. It embraces traits from both ends, and when they come together a new reality is formed.
Use “Crossing Over” as a hint or a source of inspiration and imagination. We’re awaiting for your new work, starting from NOW!
Entry Form and Submission Guidelines, please visit:

For inquiries, please write to:

Facebook Group:



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