SERIOUS PLAY IMPROV LAB (SPIL 032)
Date & Time: Saturday, 1 April 2017 @ 8pm
Venue: Findars Art Space, No. 8, 4th floor, Jalan Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur.
Admission by suggested donation: RM20
Yuen Chee Wai (synthesizer/guitar)
Goh Yen-Lin (sound objects)
Yii Kah Hoe (flute)
Sudarshan Chandra Kumar (vocals/electronics)
Yong Yandsen (tenor saxophone)
Kok Siew Wai (vocals)
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS:
YUEN CHEE WAI (Singapore) is a multidisciplinary and intertextual approach to music-making is the foundational ethos upon which Singapore-based artist, musician and experimental sound composer. His improvisational sound work encompasses the musical idioms of drone, ambient, noise and field recordings, and the use of a spectrum of electronic analog instruments and guitar. His conceptualisations and collaborations, which span the realms of visual art, dance and film, explore relationships between sound, image and word. Often inspired by ideas drawn from philosophical and literary texts, and by perspectives glimpsed through the filmic eye and photographic lens, Yuen’s stylistic oeuvre is marked by reflections on memory and loss, invisibility and indeterminacy. In 2008, Yuen teamed together with fellow musicians Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hanki (Korea) and Yan Jun (China) to form FEN (Far East Network), an experimental and improvisational music quartet focused on cross-disciplinary collaborations within the Asian region. Following a welcomed debut at the Mimi Festival (Marseilles), FEN has presented widely in both Europe and Asia. In 2014, Yuen took on the role of Curator for the Asian Meeting Festival helmed by Otomo Yoshihide and held annually in Japan. He continues to be instrumental in engendering new collaborations between musicians from South East Asia and around the globe based on their musical affinities. In fostering the cross-pollination of ideas and influences, and the development of new affiliations, Yuen has contributed towards a more vibrant and heterogeneous landscape of experimental music practices in Asia. Yuen is also a member of the esteemed avant/experimental quartet rock band The Observatory (Singapore), with whom he plays guitar, synth and electronics. With eight album releases to date, including the most recent August is the cruellest (2016), The Observatory has performed and toured worldwide. As an independent ensemble, The Observatory has conceived of vanguard initiatives such as the project Playfreely, which gives artists new creative avenues for performing and working together, in the spirit of venturing beyond more familiar musical territories.
NG CHOR GUAN is a Malaysian composer, sound designer, active thereminist, improviser, educator, and co-founder of the singular contemporary arts collective, Toccata Studio. A familiar face in many international arts festivals across the continents, Guan is a prolific artist whose diverse body of work is rooted in the contemporaneous currents of technology and yet proves to transcend categories in the performing arts. An artist with a scientific bend, Guan’s work has always culminated in a contemporary blend of art and science. His most recent project with Toccata Studio, titled ‘2020’, is a project five years long: a multidisciplinary performance powered by the concepts of multiple futures and time travel, 2020 is both a meditation on the future and an active progression into the future. As an internationally acclaimed composer and artist, Guan’s film music was awarded the Grand Prize in both the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in France (2009) and the Art Film Fest in Slovakia (2010). Guan was invited as musical director of Dancenorth Australia’s 30th anniversary production, Twilight, which was staged in Townsville, Australia. In the same year, Guan was selected and then participated in OneBeat, a program organized by the federal government of the United States, and is now officially a OneBeat fellow.
An avid performer of contemporary classical music, GOH YEN-LIN has premiered numerous solo and chamber works across North America, Europe, and Africa. Notable composers she has collaborated with include Chen Yi, Ge Gan-ru, and Mayke Nas. In 2015, she was invited as one of two musicians for a residency at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming, U.S.A. Among her other awards are the Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning National Award, and the Tunisian/American Embassy Piano Fellowship. Most recently, she gave a multidisciplinary piano recital at Arts Without Borders? International Conference in Finland, which included collaborations with Finnish artists from the Sibelius Academy. Some of her performances can be found at youtube.com/c/yenlingoh. Yen-Lin’s special interest in improvisation has led her to form contemporary improvisation ensembles and to work extensively with different instrumentalists, dancers, actors and theater directors on improvisation projects and concerts. She has collaborated with one of Canada’s leading vocalists Alex Samaras, Chinese poet/calligrapher Huang Shenchen, and in 2016, choreographer Lau Beh Chin for the “Where 2 Seas Meet” Production at DPAC in Malaysia. A full scholarship recipient, Yen-Lin earned her Master’s degree in Piano Performance with high honors from Oklahoma City University, USA, and subsequently received her doctorate in Contemporary Music (Performance) from BGSU in Ohio, where she studied piano with Robert Satterlee and composition with Marilyn Shrude. She also holds a B.A. in Piano Performance and Communications/Radio-TV-Film from the UW-Madison. Her passion for teaching brought her to Tanzania 2013-15, working as a piano/voice teaching fellow at Umoja Music School and a lecturer at Tumaini University Makumira. She is currently a senior lecturer at UPSI.
YII KAH HOE is the winner at the Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra Forum for Malaysian Composers II (2007), winner of 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards (best music and design), and a recipient of the Third Prize at the International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition organized by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (2006). He was also a finalist in the International Competition for Composers ‘Città di Udine’ (Italy, 2010). His works have been performed in the U.S., London, Trinidad, Germany, Mexico, Paris, Italy, Melbourne, Bangkok, Hanoi, Manila, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cairo, Singapore and Malaysia. Yii was the festival director of the various contemporary music festivals in Malaysia, president of Society of Contemporary Composers, and is a senior lecturer at SEGi College Subang Jaya.
YONG YANDSEN is an improvised saxophonist. He has played at the Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Mosaic Festival Singapore, Choppa Eclectic Improvised Music Festival (Singapore), Turn Around Free Jazz & Improvisation Festival (Singapore), Music Matters Festival (Sri Lanka) amongst others. Yandsen, together with Darren Moore and Brian O’Reily, form an improvised trio called Game of Patience. They have toured to Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They released debut CD album “Trial and Error” and a vinyl album “The Bad Sleeps Well”.
KOK SIEW WAI is a vocal improviser, artist-organiser and video artist. She has performed in festivals such as Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Choppa Experimental Music Festival (Singapore), Playfreely Festival (Singapore), RRRec Fest (Indonesia), E-Poetry Festival (USA) and more. Her video text + vocal improvisation performance piece “Language of Self” is collected by He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China. Siew-Wai is the co-founder, co-curator and director of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX).
SUDARSHAN CHANDRA KUMAR has performed for the CHOPPA Music Fest (Singapore), Playfreely (Singapore), Switch On (Malaysia) and KLEX Festival (Malaysia). He participates in Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL) regularly, a monthly experimental music series in Kuala Lumpur. Sudarshan has contributed vocals and live electronics to the following bands: HKPT, Takdir, Sorry and Think!Tadpole!Think!. Working with music for theatre, he is the music facilitator for Main Wayang (2015-2016), a children’s theatre workshop which emphasizes on the basics for orchestrating D.I.Y multimedia performances and has directed and scored music for his musical “The Propitiation of Fundamentals” (2015).
SERIOUS PLAY IMPROV LAB (SPIL) SERIES:
SPIL is a project of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX) launched in May 2014. It aims to create exposure and understanding, and to facilitate local, regional and international collaborations and exchanges for experimental and improvised music in Malaysia.