We’re celebrating Chinese New Year in style at the Albany with Chinese Arts Space’s, Project New Moon. To let us know more about these celebrations, Creative Director David Tse has interviewed some of the artists involved in the show. Chinese Arts Space Director, David Tse, gathered some of the most cutting-edge Chinese and East Asian artists in the UK to create work based around their creative interpretation of the moon. He wanted to reflect on the significance China’s historic Chang’e Mission lunar landing in December 2013. He commissioned British composers Ruth Chan and Andy Leung, as well as choreographers Julia Cheng and Quang Kien Van, to make 15 minutes of new work each as part of Project New Moon. Once David had left his four artists to create their work, he decided it was time to check in and see how it was all going.
First up, composer Ruth Chan: ‘My new music piece, Moon’s Magmatism, allows me to collaborate with an exciting bunch of international musicians. I was keen to integrate Chinese and Western instruments together, so I am collaborating with a variety of musicians and we play against a video backdrop by Lavin Lee. My starting point was the relationship between the earth and moon, culminating in the crowning achievement of human exploration; landing on the moon. All this inspired me to compose my piece. My music is in three sections, representing a chronology of the moon: its birth and gravitational effects on earth; humanity’s evolving fascination and development of lunar mythologies; and technological advances leading to the Apollo and Chang’e landings.’
Next, David spoke with composer Andy Leung: ‘The New Cola is loosely inspired by the moon because I wanted to explore modern society’s addiction to the internet and the effect that night-time has upon that. From the moon’s perspective, we can see humanity; the speed and information overload from mass media communication. My music is characterised with eclectic beats, pulsing rhythms and a stroke of jazz drumming as a foundation, decorated with experimental samples, ‘chiptune’ synthesizer and inspired by multiple electronic music sub-genres. Erhu is re-imagined for the 21st century. Armed with a foot-controller effects pedal, the traditional erhu is able to produce a growling bass-line, distorted tone and ‘out-of-this-world’ special effects. I am making this piece a pioneering collaboration, played alongside a punchy video backdrop.’ David then turned his attention to the choreographers.
Next up, Julia Cheng: ‘While researching Silver Moon, my female trio of dancers and I explored the areas between the dark and moonlight, between harmony and unrest, where shimmers of each reside and reflect waves of motion. I looked at the elements, the glistening of water rebounding moonlight, whilst exploring the constantly changing faces and phases of being an individual, and the effects and reactions to connections that we make in life.’
Finally, David spoke with Quang Kien Van: ‘My choreography for Lunar Orbits is a visual poem married to a fantastic piece of new music composed by Philip Feeney. It is a response to the resplendent beauty and deep mystery of the moon. Drawing from ancient myth and modern science, the work ponders notions of deep space and time and our ephemeral existence amongst the stars, amidst the ever-expanding abyss. Throughout my creative process, I have been inspired by a quote from physicist Richard Feynman, ‘Perhaps if more people were willing to live with doubt and uncertainty in their lives, there would be fewer conflicts in the world?’
If this has whet your appetite then don’t miss your opportunity to see exciting new work in Project New Moon on Saturday 21 February, 7.30pm. For more information and to book tickets, click here.