Composers Society of Singapore x Malaysia Composers Collective


Joining hands with Malaysian Composers Collective (MCC), the Composers Society of Singapore (CSS) and Weird Aftertaste present a diverse palette of sounds and stories from composers of Singapore and Malaysia. 3 composers from MCC – Sebastian Ooi, Ainolnaim Azizol and Jellal Koay together with 3 composers from CSS - Avik Chari, Nathanael Koh and Ding Jian Han were selected to headline the closing concert of the Singapore Composers Festival. This festival, organized by the Composers Society of Singapore (CSS), was a one-day event featuring two talks and two concerts. 

The contemporary music ensemble Weird Aftertaste, comprising keyboardists Bertram Wee and Lynette Yeo, saxophonist Michelina Chan, violinist Christoven Tan, and cellist Chee Jun Sian, performed a series of intriguing and stimulating pieces.

The concert began with compositions from MCC, starting with Sebastian Ooi's Mujo for alto saxophone. This piece explored the instrument's varied capabilities, incorporating lyrical lines and key clicks to convey the theme of impermanence suggested by its Japanese title.  

Ainolnaim Azizol's Miroirs of the Rebab highlighted the modern cello's connection to the Malay rebab (spiked fiddle), using electronics to sample recorded techniques such as pizzicatos, slides, and wood knocking. 

Jellal Koay's OMGREgGhOWdAR3yoOoulwu!!!!!! for keyboard four hands provided a striking auditory experience, akin to musical expletives inspired by environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. Amidst the intense white noise, one could detect rhythms and discordant organ-like chorales.  

From the Singaporean composers, Avik Chari's Cities I for saxophone, cello, and electronics stood out with its funky, jazz-like themes and rhythms, capturing the essence of chic urban life.

Fourteen-year-old prodigy Nathanael Koh's Of Eternal Time for synthesizers, violin, and cello echoed the comforting chords of Olivier Messiaen and sought inner peace.

The concert ended with Ding Jian Han’s "P. p. P. p.," a piece that explored contrasting sound textures and rhythms, involving all five musicians. Featuring motivic fragments, pulsating ostinatos, and a blend of long-held and staccato notes, it brought the festival to an energetic conclusion.

For MCC, this concert marked the culmination of a three-way collaboration between Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia that began in 2019.

Sebastian Ooi:               Mujō 無常 for Alto Saxophone 

Ainolnaim Azizol:           Miroirs of Malay Rebab: Menghadap Rebab for Cello & Live Electronics

Jellal Koay:                    oMGgggG h0W dAR3 yo0ouUwUu!!!!!1! for Keyboard 4 Hands

Avik Chari:                     Cities I for Saxophone, Cello & Electronics 

Nathanael Koh:              Of Eternal Time for Synthesizers 1 & 2; Violin, Cello

Ding Jian Han:               P. p. P. p. for Alto Saxophone, Viola, Cello & Keyboard Sampler 

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