16 Nov 2019

MCC launches country's first ever piano anthology

The piano is one of Malaysia's most popular classical instruments, with tens of thousands learning the instrument every year. It is no surprise that piano compositions thus form the bedrock of the country's new music scene.

MCC has, since 2015 and earlier, been planning to put some of these scores into an anthology as part of its mission to document the musical landscape of the country and to promote the performance of Malaysian works.

Its plans finally came to fruition after its pioneering Free Hand Festival brought together the piano music community and spurred the production of the anthology.

Complimentary copies of the book are being distributed courtesy of sponsors Yayasan Sime Darby, and the anthology will be available at all local music stores, and can be ordered internationally via Faber Music, or pre-ordered at their website.

Introduction to Free Hand Anthology I:

Malaysia's very first anthology of piano compositions truly describes the growing pool of Malaysian piano compositions written over the past decade. This pioneer collection of original works span composers from different backgrounds and ages, from various parts of the country from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu in the east to Penang in the north.

This musical survey, which has been in the planning for several years, was the culmination of the country's first ever contemporary composers piano festival Free Hand 2019, featuring BBC Music Magazine's Best Newcomer award winner of 2013, Mei Yi Foo, who premiered a number of works in this volume.

The musical styles are as diverse as Malaysia's people themselves, colourful, contrasting, exciting and refreshing. From post minimalist to neo expressionist and beyond, the breadth of the compositions here provide an insightful glimpse into the world of 21st Century music in a country so young.

The sound world ranges from rhythmically potent to broadly contemplative, traversing worlds of colour, emotion, sonic exploration and the stretching of compositional forms and techniques handed down from past generations of classical composers.

Experience the darting motion of herring or the ghostly shimmer of stars long extinct, Webernesque miniatures or driving rhythms, meditations on the Malay pantun or the telling of a historical Malaccan battle, the footprints left behind by memories and the contemplations of cosmopolitan estrangement, a Chinese widow's last act of duty, the toil of the working class, echoes of kadazandusun gongs ...

Read more about the book and listen to the pieces at anthology.freehandfestival.com`

For updates on Free Hand Festival's activities, follow its Facebook page.

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