Chen Zhangyi, Musician

Chen Zhangyi, Musician

  • The music of Chen Zhangyi has been described by Straits Times as “a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape” and BBC Radio 3 as “music from a voice of the future.”

 

Podcast

Overview

Music is a form of art. When different kinds of sounds are put together or mixed together to form a new sound that is pleasing to human beings, it is called music. Music is derived from the Greek word Mousike, which means the art of muses. Muses included the goddess of music, poetry, art, and dance in Ancient Greece. Chen Zhangyi talks to us about the importance of music.

00:35- About Chen Zhangyi

  • The music of Chen Zhangyi has been described by Straits Times as “a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape” and BBC Radio 3 as “music from a voice of the future.”
  • Nature is often a source of inspiration in Zhangyi’s music.
  • The musical representation of Singaporean culture is another recurring theme within Zhangyi’s music.

03:20- How do you represent Singaporean culture in your music?

  • For the past 10 years, I’ve been working on writing operas where there’s just a narrative of characters in the play.
  • I have this cycle of work called the Singapore Trilogy. It has three parts.
  • Each part is focused on one different Singaporean obsession. There is food. The second one was based on shopping. The third one comes back to coffee.

06:41- What goes into curating a concert?

  • The trilogy definitely counts as one of these milestones within my career.
  • In 2018, all three were performed on a single night.
  • The curating was done by a local company group called Lariat.
  • In 2011, I had two big breaks that year, and one was working with the London Symphony.

14:00- How is technology changing music?

  • A lot of my colleagues have turned to the digital format and with some help from the Singapore government, there were a lot of grounds being rolled out.
  • New genres appeared in some recent operas. One of them was a COVID opera called panic love. It’s about social distancing.

16:00- How can music support corporate managers, entrepreneurs, and startup founders?

  • There are many ways music can come into play.
  • The traditional form of experiencing music might be going to the concert hall, but a lot of new programs are exploring like playlists.
  • Corporate companies bring in a group of musicians. They do a workshop with the staff where they use the musical setting.

21:47- One lesson

  • Be stubborn and persistent.

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Profile

The music of Chen Zhangyi has been described by Straits Times as “a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape” and by BBC Radio 3 as “music from a voice of the future.” His collaborators include ensembles such as London Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Singapore National Youth Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (SSCC), Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO), L’arietta, The Opera People (TOP), Ensemble Ripieno (PH), Stradivari Quartet and re: mix.

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