Hong Kong New Music Ensemble | Live from Prague, Vol. 1

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Live from Prague, Vol. 1

by Hong Kong New Music Ensemble

Hong Kong Music Ensemble playing six new compositions in a concert live from Prague.
Genre: Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sailing, Along the Heart of Rememberance (Live)
11:41 $0.99
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2. Au Revoir, Svetozar (Live)
10:11 $0.99
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3. The Hands We Used to Make Were Clay (Live)
10:13 $0.99
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4. Ding II (Live)
12:41 $0.99
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5. Vexatious (Live)
8:43 $0.99
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6. Vortex Illusion: I. Hover Force (Live)
3:07 $0.99
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7. Vortex Illusion: II. Explosive Force (Live)
2:27 $0.99
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8. Vortex Illusion: III. Force of Cohesion (Live)
3:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Six new compositions for western and Chinese instruments demonstrating the stunning virtuosity of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Brilliant compositions, superb played!

Hin Yan Austin Leung — Sailing, Along the Heart of Remembrance
Biography

With the support of the Jockey Club Music and Dance Oversea Scholarship,
Leung is currently studying a Master of Music (composition) at the Royal
Academy of Music (United Kingdom).

As a prize-winning composer, Leung won the second prize of the New
Generation Competition 2015 and the third prize of the Chengdu-China 11th
Sun River Prize. In 2016, Leung won an international call for score. His
chamber work was performed in the Echofluxx 16 Festival of New Media,
Music and Arts in Prague. The piece will be published by the ABLAZE
Records (USA) in 2016.

Various music groups have performed Leung’s music in various festivals.
Recently, Leung’s film music work was recording in a New York workshop by
a chamber orchestra formed by the New York Philharmonic and The
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra players.

Leung’s composition stays distinctive in its integration of contrasting musical
materials in the same work. Materials range from tonal, expressive melodies to
brutal contemporary noise. Such composition approach echoes Leung’s
philosophical belief that the world is united, but also diversified. Every soul
should co-exist cooperatively in this planet without drastically losing one’s
unique characteristics to imitate or accommodate others.

Leung also shows great interest in creating new repertoire for folk instruments.
Leung has various compositions composed for Chinese folk instruments and
combination of folk instruments and western instruments. In 2015, the full
Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra performed Leung’s work in the International
Composers Summit.


Sailing, Along the Heart of Remembrance
For zheng and string quartet
Composed by Leung Hin Yan Austin (2015)

Program notes:
“I thank all the young me who cultivated the person I am.”
The ensemble serves as a boat, sailing the audiences through a journey of remembrance. The journey covers three memory fragments. Each of the memory fragment focuses on a particular timbre. Short melodic fragments are hidden in each memory fragment and are concluded at the end.


Rodney Waschka — Au Revoir, Svetovar

Rodney Waschka II is probably best known for his algorithmic compositions and his unusual operas such as Saint Ambrose and Sappho’s Breath. Internationally recognized as an expert in computer music, he studied with Larry Austin, Thomas Clark, and others at the University of North Texas, with George Lewis, Clarence Barlow, Paul Berg, Joel Ryan, Konrad Boehmer, and others at The Royal Conservatory of The Netherlands, with Charles Dodge at Brooklyn College, and with Robert Ashley in Florida. His music has been called “astonishing” and “strikingly charismatic” by Paris Transatlantic Magazine, “oddly moving” by Journal Seamus, “fluent and entertaining” by Musical Opinion of London and “a milestone in the repertoire” by Computer Music Journal. His works are regularly performed and broadcast throughout the world. Twenty-two recordings of his compositions and performances have been released on record labels based in the USA, Canada, Portugal, England, and Australia. He is Director and Professor of Arts Studies at North Carolina State University.

Program note

Au Revoir, Svetozar (2016) is dedicated to the memory of the mathematician, Svetozar Kurepa, who was a friend of the composer. The author of 16 books and over 70 research articles, Svetozar Kurepa was, along with his uncle, Djuro Kurepa, the face of mathematics in Yugoslavia in the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century. Through his textbooks written for the high-school through doctoral level, Svetozar Kurepa’s name was recognized by everyone throughout the country including the “man on the street” – everyone from shop clerks to journalists to healthcare professionals to manual laborers knew his name. Svetozar Kurepa worked mainly in functional analysis and operator theory. He received many awards and taught in Yugoslavia, Canada, and the United States.

Composed for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and a performance at the 2016 EchoFluxx Festival in Prague, Au Revoir, Svetozar was made with a computer program designed and coded by the composer. The computer program is based on the dynamical system known as the Henon Map. This deterministic mathematical system, first described by the French mathematician Michel Henon, displays chaotic behavior. The piece also employs the virelai, Douce Dame, by Guillaume de Machaut as a cantus firmus — heard initially in the viola part. The computer program mapped the output of the dynamical system to pitch in most instances and mapped the output to duration in the case of the cantus firmus.

Sarah Westwood — the hands we used to make were clay
With a penchant for meditated concepts, mythologies, organic materials and nature, Sarah
Westwood’s compositions start from handwritten sketches and images that evolve over
time. What draws her most towards creating is music which encompasses more than
sound — from concept, to process, to realization, and reflection — often merging from
interdisciplinary movements intuitively.

Sarah writes both acoustic and electronic music. Her work has been received in Europe,
Canada and USA, in venues including Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wales
Millennium Centre and scheduled in festivals — ranging across music, dance and film; her
work has been performed by players of BBC National Orchestra of Wales, ÓNIX
Ensamble, Bangor New Music Ensemble and Okeanos, amongst others. Sarah is an
emerging artist within NX Record Label, described by South Bank Centre as ‘one of
London's most innovative independent record labels.’ Her work has been broadcast on
Resonance FM.

For spring and summer of 2016, she was a student at Eastman School of Music’s Summer
Program and auditor at Ircam Academy (NY/Paris); a composer at the first Estalagem
Da Ponta Do Sol Residency for Contemporary Music and Electronics, Funchal (Portugal);
her graphic score ‘OMaV’ published in the Spring Edition of Notations music magazine,
Canadian Music Centre, (Ontario); curator of audibleVISIONS conference and exhibition
(London); and has been given artistic support by the Pursuit of Excellence and Castafiore
Jewellery. In 2015, Sarah was awarded The Bliss Trust Scholarship for artistic
development in USA; a visiting scholar at UC San Diego, mentored under Katharina
Rosenberger whilst collaborating in The Immersive Lab from ZHdK/Gray Area (Zurich/San
Francisco); a composer at the first Choreographer and Composers Lab at Phoenix Dance
Theatre, (Leeds) and co-curator for the EMS event at PureGold Festival (London).
Sarah is a collaborating artist with dance group Eleven Farrer House (London/Marseille).
and a practice-based research PhD candidate in Music Composition, at Goldsmiths
(University of London), under Patricia Alessandrini.

PROGRAM NOTE

’take a lump of clay … let it rest within your hands. Sense what moves it from within … and from without. Sense the undertows, currents … of what is pushing it … pulling it’ (Miranda Tufnell, A Widening Field p199) This quote formed the origin of the piece, what emerged from this was a collection of three ideas, qualities that fused clay, the re-use of material and Baroque Music together.

The sound quality for this piece comes from a meditation based on the aliveness of clay, how ancient civilisations believed our bodies were formed from this material, from the earth. Each gesture in the piece can be sensed as musical clay. The piece dismantles sound materials I previously created and explored with zhengist Yitong Peng: to shape, extend, re-mould, to see what moves from within and without of this sound within a new context. The zheng and string quartet are handled as two separate entities, they could have a similar sound world but this piece keeps them distinct. This juxtaposition falls into playing with Baroque Music, more specifically the Concerto Grosso. ‘the hands we used to make were clay’ is a meditation on the sudden change of slow-fast movements, improvised ornamentations, terraced dynamics and the virtuosic soloist (guzheng) vs tutti (string quartet). As the piece plays with co-existence, at times, the two worlds sculpt into one another.

the hands we used to make were clay for zheng and string quartet was written during Estalagem da Ponta do Sol Residency for Contemporary Music and Electronics (Funchal), for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, as part of Echofluxx Festival, Prague 2016.

Stephen Yip — Ding II

Stephen Yip’s music has been described as post-modernist in style, with Asian roots,
expressing the inner colors of an advanced spatial sense …

Yip was born in Hong Kong and now living in the USA. He received his doctor of musical
arts (D.M.A.) at Rice University and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) at the Hong Kong
Academy for Performing Arts, he has studied with Law Wing-fai, Clarence Mak, and Arthur
Gottschalk. Yip has attended major music festivals including: Wellesley Composers
Conference, Aspen Music Festival, Asian Composers’ League, ISCM World Music Days,
Chinese Composers’ Festival, IMPULS Ensemble Akademie, Luxembourg, the
International Summer Course for New Music, Darmstadt, Germany, Wellesley
Composers’ Conference. Residencies include: the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, Yaddo
Colony and MacDowell Colony.

Yip’s works have been performed in the Asia, Europe and America. He has received
several composition prizes, included “Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition
Award, Taiwan Music Center International Composition Prize, Robert Avalon
International Prize, Singapore International Composition Competition for Chinese
Orchestra, the ALEA III composition Competition, and the 2010 Alvarez Chamber
Orchestra Freestyle Composition Competition, London, England. His works are recorded
in the ERM-Media, PARMA, Capstone, North South Recording, Ablaze Records, ATMA
Classique, and Beauport Classical labels.

Yip is a member of the SCI, NACUSA, and ASCAP. Currently, he is on the music
faculty at Houston Community College and works as a freelance composer.

Ding II was written for string quartet and zheng.

Ding was one of the prehistoric ancient Chinese ritual bronze cauldrons with three or four legs and round or rectangular vessels. It has both historical and cultural significance; possession of ancient dings were often associated with power and dominion over the land. Since the early Bronze Age of China, ding has symbolized power.

In this piece, there are nine short sections, which depict the “Nine Tripod Cauldrons” (Nine Ding), a symbol of the rule over all China in Zhou Kings. Nine sections are performed continuously, without pause.


Joungmin Lee — Vexatious
Joungmin Lee is a Korean composer, choral conductor and digital music artist. He is
interested in instrumental as well as electro-acoustic music with an
interdisciplinary approach. He attempts to find innovative sound both in
instrumental and digital worlds to manipulate listener’s perception floating
between imagination and reality. Joungmin is an award-winning composer of 2016
Hong Kong New Music Ensemble Prague Concert and Recording for his string
quartet ‘Vexatious' as well as the 2016 Valencia International Performance Academy
& Festival. He has composed for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, string quartet, films,
documentaries, television, and online games as a vice director of Image Enterprise
Inc. He taught music composition and computer music at Chang-Won College, Seoul
Artist Music School and The Apple Bridge Academy Inc. His music has been
performed in symposia, festivals, collaborations, and competitions by such
ensembles as the JACK Quartet, the Midwest Composers Symposium, SCIUI, UI
Dance and International Writing Program Collaboration, International Modern
Dance Festival ‘Kui-So,’ and University of Iowa Center for New Music. Furthermore,
his electric piece ‘Heterogeneous’ has been accepted for performance at Cicada
Consort at The University of Alabama, 2016 National Student Electronic Music Event
(N_SEME 2016) at the University of Oklahoma, and and finalist at SIME 2016
International Electroacoustic Music Competition. Currently he is pursuing the Ph.D
in composition at the University of Iowa. He holds degrees from Sang Myung
University (M.Mus in computer music) as well as New York University (M.Mus in
music technology). Joungmin has studied with David Gompper, Josh Levine,
Lawrence Fritts, Bryan Haaheim, Hyunsook Choi, and Dafna Naphtali, in addition to
private studies Elainie Lillios.

Program Note — Vexatious
Agony can exist for a number of reasons. Mine comes from obsession and when it is
gone, agony may vanish. The piece is an attempt to express agony, obsession, and
serenity. The first two measures represent the main motive, which is illustrating agony.
The motive develops in order to discover different dimensions of obsession as the conceptual
and musical elements. To emphasize the idea of obsession, the main motive is developed
with regard to function as the main idea or a harmonic figuration for further musical
development, and to highlight the deep level of agony as a part of the human experience. Technically, the concept of agony is realized by using a mixture of extreme variety of instrumental range and microtonality, to add a further level of psychological complexity. Toward the end, both agony and obsession are transformed into a unity. This is the time that the heart accepts them in order to embrace the serenity.

Mei-Fang Lin
Bio

Mei-Fang Lin is currently an Associate Professor of Composition at the Texas Tech University. Lin received her Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at Berkeley and her master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she also taught as Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition from 2007-2009. From 2002-2005, she lived in France and studied composition with composer Philippe Leroux and participated in the one-year computer music course “Cursus de Composition” at IRCAM in Paris on a Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship and Berkeley’s George Ladd Paris Prize. Lin’s music has won awards and honors from the Città di Udine International Composition Competition, Musica Domani International Competition, American Composers Forum, Seoul International Competition for Composers, Fifth House Ensemble Composer Competition, Bourges Competition, Look & Listen Festival, Pierre Schaeffer Competition, SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition, Luigi Russolo Competition, Prix SCRIME, NACUSA, Music Taipei Composition Competition among others. Her music has received performances and broadcasts internationally in over 30 countries in the world.

Program Note
Vortex Illusion is a study on the interactions between musical gestures and physical energy. The piece utilizes various physical phenomena of vortex as its composition model. There are three movements, each of which is structured upon a different kind of force associated with the phenomenon of vortex. The first movement is entitled Hover Force, while the second movement is called Explosive Force, and the last movement Force of Cohesion.

Vortex Illusion was commissioned by the Chew’s Cultural Foundation in Taiwan, and was premiered by the Counterpoint String Quartet with Taiwanese zheng artist Jiuan-Reng Yeh in the Spring/Autumn Music Series in November 2015.

Hong Kong New Music Ensemble

Euna Kim, Violin
Euna Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and studied violin and chamber music in Korea and Germany. Her teachers included Professors Nam-Yun Kim, Zahkar Bron, Walreri Gradow and Anthony Spiri. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the School of Music at the Korean National University of Arts, a Diploma in Violin Performance and Chamber Music from the
Koelner Musikhochschule in Germany and a Konzertexamen from the Staatliche Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim.

Euna gave her orchestra debut at the age of 14 with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed as soloist with the Seoul Chamber Orchestra, the Seoul Academy Symphony Orchestra, and the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Bowdoin Music Festival in the USA, The Verbier Music Festival in Switzerland, the Gaida Contemporary Music Festival in Lithuania, the Berlin Music Festival "Crescendo" and the Niedersachsen International Chamber Music Festival in Germany. She taught as a faculty at the Korean National University of Arts and worked as a 1st Violin Principal for the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a member of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.

Selena Choi, Violin
Currently a member of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Selena Tsz Wing Choi started learning the violin at the age of five, studying violin with Professor Jia-yang Wang at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where she obtained a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours. With the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship for Overseas Studies and the RCM foundation scholarship, Selena graduated with a Master of Music in Performance degree at the Royal College of Music, studying with Professor Maciej Rakowski.

Selena has won the Concerto Trial at the Academy three times; her other prizes include the Royal College of Music Quartet Competition and “Ensemble with Piano” competition. She was also semi-finalist of the St. Martin’s Chamber Competition (UK) and finalist of the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition.

William Lane, Viola
William Lane performs as a soloist, orchestral player and chamber musician in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. He studied under Jan Sedivka (Australia), Bruno Giuranna (Italy) and Garth Knox (France), as well as in Germany at the International Ensemble Modern Akademie, and in Switzerland at the Lucerne Festival Academy under Pierre Boulez. In 2005 he was prize-winner at the Bucchi Competition in Rome (Italy).

William was Principal Viola of Ensemble Resonanz (Germany) and a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; and has appeared as guest violist of Ensemble Modern (Germany) and the Lucerne Festival Strings (Switzerland). Based in Hong Kong since 2008, he is Founder, Artistic Director and Violist of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Asia's most active professional chamber ensemble dedicated to new music. In 2013 he was awarded the “Award for Young Artist (Music)” from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Zhu Mu, Cello
Cellist Zhu Mu has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in Asia, Europe and North America. Mu was the winner of the Central Conservatory of Music Cello Competition in Beijing, the 4th China National Duo Cello Competition, and prizewinner of the 2006 Bayreuther International Music Competition in Germany. He is a member of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble since 2013. He is also the cellist of the Beijing New Music Ensemble, frequent participant of the Beijing Modern Festival and the “211” recording project; and performs in new music concert series held in South Korea, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

As an educator, Zhu Mu has been frequently been invited to give masterclasses in institutes throughout China. Currently, Mu is member of the cello faculty at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He received his undergraduate degree with honours from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and his two Masters of Music degrees and Doctorate in
Germany. Mu has also taken part in masterclasses by Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky, and Bernard Greenhouse.

Chiu Tan Ching, Zheng
Tan Ching gained her BMus (Hons) degree in 1998 at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, with double major in Zheng and Chinese percussion, and continued with studies in both instruments in HKAPA Professional Diploma Programme, during which time she was awarded a scholarship to study with Beijing zheng virtuso Zhou Wang. Her teachers at the HKAPA were Choi Ngai-si, Xu Ling-zi, and Yim Hok-man, and she further honed her skills with many masters of the zheng in mainland China, notably Cao Zheng, Qiu Dacheng, Rao Ningxin, and Zhou Yanjia. She also holds an MA degree in Music from the Hong Kong Baptist University.

In 2000, Chiu Tan-ching established the Tanching Zheng Ensemble which aims to promote Chinese music and zheng playing amongst young people and part-time member in performing arts to foster an appreciation for Chinese art and culture. The Ensemble is made up of some 20 players, many of whom are prize winners

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