An introduction to the festival

Dr Chong Kee Yong

Dr CHONG Kee Yong

Executive producer and Artistic Director of the SMCC SoundBridge Contemporary Music Virtual Festival 2021

Creative director of Studio C and conductor of Ensemble Studio C

Executive Committee Member of the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC)

The biannual 5th “SoundBridge” Contemporary Music Festival is organized by the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC) and Studio C, and supported by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, Goethe Institut-Malaysia, Ensemble Musikfabrik, N10 ensemble, The Guzheng Academy and Skate Strange Studio. This year, we will move the festival online to stage 10 virtual streaming concerts and one webinar panel discussion on tentative dates of 11-13 November 2021. 

In this edition, we are highlighting diversity in culture and languages, as well as compassion in art-making wherever we are. As the COVID-19 pandemic confines our international musicians and audiences to their respective locations, SoundBridge is embracing a multi-city collaboration online with artists and collaborators in Asia, Europe and America. 

This year’s line-up features legacy, heritage, and the tradition of the voices being presented, including dialects, language, music, dance, video arts and performed by artists from Malaysia, Southeast Asia and other continents.  With your continued support, this festival will cultivate contemporary music and spearhead conversations in the direction of contemporary music and performing arts in the Asia region, Germany and America. This season, we celebrate language and music to stay engaged in amidst a public health crisis.

Concert 1: Festival opening concert“Praying for peaceful world”

Concert 2: SMCC artist-in-resident German percussionist Mr Max Riefer presents a percussion lecture and concert in “Malaysian Voices-VII”

Concert 3: MASTER Series 1: Miniature portrait concert with introduction on his music by German composer Dieter Mack

Concert 4: Chinese instruments lecture concert: CUBE Band demonstrates their performance of Chong Kee Yong’s new work

Concert 5: “Connecting cities-IV”

Concert 6: MASTER Series 2: Miniature portrait concert of Austrian/American composer and percussionist Lukas Ligeti

Concert 7: “SoundBridge-V” Asian young composers showcase

Festival Closing Concert series “Dream for future”

Concert 8: SMCC artist-in-resident young Malaysian saxophonist Scarlet Gouk Yan Tong presents contemporary saxophone music in “Malaysian Voices-VIII”

Concert 9: Dare to Dream series: WORK IN PROGRESS-Excerpts of “Hope” by young Malaysian composer and interdisciplinary artist Teh Tian Yoon

Concert 10: “OpusNovus” streamed live from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music featuring the contemporary music ensemble

Zoom Webinar: Panel discussion “The trend of cross-media in Contemporary Music-V”

All video performance concerts will be streamed on SoundBridge website, Facebook live and YouTube. In addition to these concerts, we are hosting a Zoom Webinar: panel discussion with Javanese dancer Mr Agung Gunawan, young composer/conductor Dr Piyawat Louilarpprasert, composer Dr Anothai Nitibhon, young composer Ms Teh Tian Yoon, and contemporary dancer Dr Tony Yap. This discussion on cross-media trends in contemporary music is moderated by Dr Sayyid Shafiee.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have changed our presentation structure from the previous editions, while retaining the essence of Soundbridge. All concerts feature works from SMCC composers and international guest composers, pre-recorded and performed by local and international artists from Malaysia, Southeast Asia and other countries.  Our resident ensemble “N10 ensemble”, SMCC artist-in-resident percussionist Max Riefer, Saxophonist Scarlet Gouk Yan Tong and festival artist conductor Lee Kok Leong will perform the world premiere of 14 new works by Malaysian composers Teh Tze Siew, Tee Xiao Xi, Koay Loong Chuen, Ooi Wei Chern, Lee Chie Tsang, Tan Zhi Yong, Wong Chee Wei, Chong Kar Yan, Heng Fook Wei, Lim Yu Yao and Chiu Peng Chong, N10 ensemble, saxophonist Scarlet Gouk Yan Tong, pianist Poom Prommachart and conductor Lee Kok Leong will rehearse and video-record the pieces in Malaysia while Max Riefer will rehearse and video-record in Germany.  Guest conductor Prof Peter Veale, will rehearse and video-record the music of our featured composers Prof Dieter Mack, Prof Liza Lim and festival director Dr Chong Kee Yong in Germany with Studio Musikfabrik.

With more than 100 composers and artists involved in this festival, we intend to foster a deep intercultural and knowledge exchange in new music writing between artists from Southeast Asia and beyond. This festival showcases original compositions by composers from our Southeast Asia region and other countries around the world. Our festival works closely with our music partners like The Guzheng Academy, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Landesmusikrat NRW, Kanazawa Citizen’s Art Center, Siong Leng Musical Association, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Gamelan Semara Ratih, Gamelan Salukat, Omah gamelan, Gamelané SJ, Jelana creative movement, Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival, Salihara Theatre,  Rancakalong-Sumedang Community and Studio Acht; and we will present many leading contemporary music composers, ensembles, musicians and artists from Asia, Europe and USA, such as composers Yii Kah Hoe, Dr Tazul Tajuddin, A/Prof Ho Chee Kong, Prof Qin Wenchen, Prof Jia Guoping,  Prof Chou Wen Chung,  Javier Busto,  I Ketut Cater, Dewa Alit,  Yasnoshin Morita,  Dieter Mack, Vu Nhat Tan,  Liza Lim, Anothai Nitibhon, Tony Prabowo, Wayan Gde Yudane, Salvatore Sciarrino, George Crumb and John Adams; saxophonist Scarlet Gouk Yan Tong,  pianist Ya-ou Xie, Poom Prommachart, percussionist Max Riefer, Lukas Ligeti, violinist Yeoh Pei-Ann, conductor Lien Boon Hua,  Peter Veale, Chen Yun-Hung, Quek Ling Kiong, Alexander John Villanueva, Lin Liao, Lee Kok Leong, dancer Zhu Shiya, Agung Gunawan, Tony Yap, Amandus Paul Panan, Chan Kar Kah, sarangi player Kiran Nepali, Hanoi New Music Ensemble, Ding Yi Music Company, Tacet(i) Ensemble, Ripieno Ensemble, Taipei Chamber Singers, CUBE BAND, Wanderer Chamber ensemble, Laring ensemble, OpusNovus YST, Con tempo ensemble, Tian Lai guzheng ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, KCAC (Kanazawa Citizen’s Art Center) Ensemble, N10 ensemble, Studio Musikfabrik and Jakarta New Music Ensemble.

In this difficult time, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the individuals, organizations, and many of my friends whose continuous support makes this festival possible. Your contribution fosters a vibrant exchange of contemporary music amongst artists in various countries in Asia, Germany, and America. You have brought this festival to life, that amidst a pandemic, brings local dialects and music across continents to light!