28 Mar 2019

Malaysian minimalism in the south, soundscapes in the West

Last weekend Malaysian music made its mark in Singapore and California, USA through the works of Adeline Wong and Ainolnaim Azizol respectively.

Singapore art and music lovers got a closer look at the inner workings of Wong's new work for piano Herringbone last weekend, when she gave a presentation at the Marina Bay Sands' Minimalism Symposium at the ArtScience Museum's Expression Gallery.

Organised as a programme of Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. at ArtScience Museum, the symposium aimed to discuss Minimalism as a cross-arts phenomenon by addressing the rich terrain of intersections, and encourages new thoughts about the role and influence of Minimalism on performative practices.

Writes ArtScience Museum, "Firmly established in the lexicon of twentieth century art, the impact and influences of Minimalism are felt to this day, bringing about ongoing and compelling discourses as each generation of artists mines its form."

Wong's piano work, first premiered in the island nation by UK-based award winning Malaysian pianist Foo Mei Yi, serves to illustrate how she has employed the concepts of minimalism in music today - an art form that has come a long way since its early days of Philip Glass and Terry Riley -  to her latest piano work.

Her composition is also shown in The Sound Room in Minimalism: Space. Light. Object at ArtScience Museum. The museum describes the piece as "bold, with textural energy and kaleidoscopic colours ... marked by the use and concentration of as little material as possible."

Meanwhile, further West, composer Ainolnaim was invited to Stanford University, California to present his work Gneiss for almglocken, geduk, computer and 8 speakers at a concert last Sunday. The work was part of a series of concerts at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) as part of its Linux Audio Conference 2019.

The work was one of four works presented in the programme, comprising composers from Stanford and Japan.

According to the programme notes, "Gneiss is an electroacoustic piece written for Almglocken, Geduk and 8 speakers with computer. It is a revision from my previous original electroacoustic work for flute and 2 speakers with laptop, JulaJuli which was commissioned for for MA/IN Music Festival, Italy 2018 and Spaziomusica Festival Italy 2018.

"The piece uses Geophony recording during my visit in Zermatt, Switzerland as background while “cultural sound” at the middle ground and the musical instruments as foreground.

"Gneiss was premiered for Malaysia Electronic Music Festival - SPECTRA 2018 and followed by another performance for Connecting Beats Malaysia Vol.5 Mini Festival 2018. The piece will be performed again for Linux Audio Conference 2019 (LAC-19) at Stanford University’s Centre for Computer Research in Music (CCRMA) Stage in fixed media format."

Related:
Singapore's Straits Times reviews Herringbone
Adeline Wong's Herringbone for piano premieres in S'pore

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Malaysian premieres since 1995

Here is a roundup of premieres of Malaysian works at home and abroad. Since the mid-90s Malaysian works have been performed largely abroad...

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