1 Nov 2015

Young composer Sayyid takes 'journey of life' to Manila's ACL Festival

KL-born Sayyid Shafiee will represent Malaysia at the young composers competition at the ACL Manila festival that starts on 6 Nov 2015.

Sayyid, who is currently doing his masters at the Birmingham Conservatory, said he is excited to attend the festival as it is a "chance of a lifetime".

The festival also features a number of Malaysian works including Johan Othman's choral work, the five-movement 'the dancing mouse', Ainolnaim Azizol's Meta VI for tape and dancer and CH Loh's 'A Queen, A Mother' for soprano and piano, based on poems by Singaporean poet Paul Tan.

Sayyid is the third Malaysian young composer sent by the Malaysian Composers Collective to represent the country at the Asia Pacific gathering of composers, after Jessica Cho, who won 3rd prize in Taiwan in 2012, and Ainolnaim Azizol, who won 2nd prize in Japan in 2014.
Sayyid's entry 'Jinsei Kouro' is inspired by the Japanese dance 'butoh'.

The title means 'Journey of Life' in Japanese. According to the composer, his piece was inspired by a contemporary Japanese dance, the butoh.

"This composition is conveived to accompany a butoh dance performance and also inspired by a piece by Imre Thormann from Switzerland.

"This piece is a portrait of a gentleman, about his journey as a human," wrote Sayyid in the programme notes.


Sayyid was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1987 and educated at Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur. His earliest exposure to music began at the tender of 13, when he enlisted to be part of the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps Band, playing the saxophone.

He then went on to obtain his Diploma in Music from UiTM, majoring in saxophone with Muriz Che' Rose. As an active member of the music community since 2000, he has taken part in the MOSAIC Music Festival, Singapore 2008; World Music Championship, Holland 2004; World Marching Band Championship, Italy 2003 & 2009; International Band Competition, Canada 2000; and the International Wind Band Competition, Singapore 2010.

Besides that, he has been involved in the popular music scenes in Malaysia since 2006 to work with various artist on Anugerah Juara Lagu; 2007, 2009, 2010; Anugerah Skrin 2010. He changed his direction in music afterwards and graduated with distinction for Bachelor’s Degree in Composition, studying with Tazul Tajuddin in 2011 from UiTM.

In 2013, he received his Master in Music (composition) from the University of Manchester, studied with Kevin Melone, Phillip Grange and Camden Reeves. His musical inspirations come from the sound collage and various technical approaches in musical compositions.

Under the tutelage of Andrew Hamilton, Michael Wolters and Joe Cutler, he is now a PhD candidate in composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
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