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art jam Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Oct - Dec 2008, Issue 16.

MIC A (P) 275/ 01/2 008

FRE E CO PY

Singapore’s

Violin Prodigy – See Ian Ike


art jam

art jam Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Oct - Dec 2008, Issue 16.

MICA (P) 275/01/20 08

FREE COPY

Singapore’s

Violin Prodigy – See Ian Ike

Publication Team Editor-in-Chief Gloria Ong Editorial Assistant Debbie Phua Content Editor Vivienne Tseng Writers Neetika Bansal Sanket Gupta Lim Weili Lim Vera Joyce Chua

Charmaine Pan Audrey Lim Brinda Cheng Photographers Charmaine Pan Graphic Designer Natalie Tuang Ryan Yee (Cover) Xpress Print Pte Ltd Tel: 6880 2881

Editor’s Note Dear Readers Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming events, performances and concerts that are going to take place over the next three months! This issue promises you an exciting read, featuring Singapore’s violin prodigy, See Ian Ike, the Singapore Lyrics Opera, and Cocoquettes, an online earring business set up by a pair of best friends! (Readers are also entitled to an exclusive 15% discount, so be sure to check it out!) Warmest regards, Gloria

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This is a Publication of Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club To advertise with us or list your events in ART JAM, email us at cac_press@ntu.edu.sg


contents 4

6

Stringed Symphony

5 CAC Choir

6

4

Reflections 2008

5

8 The Gemuk Girls

11

10 Singapore Lyrics Opera

11 Singapore’s Violin Prodigy – See Ian Ike

16

16 ARTSpeak Series – Power 98 FM School Invasion

17 Cocoquettes

17

20 Events Listing

Where to find

Art Jam

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CACpress

Stringed Symphony

Text: Neetika Bansal Photo: Courtesy

T

wo score and three years back, a group of keen guitarists made a decision to get serious about their passion. They resolved to make music, and through their hard work they founded NTU’s first official Guitar Club in 1985, then known as the Nanyang Technological Institute (NTI )Guitar Club.

Seven years later, the club was initiated into the Cultural Activities Club (CAC) and given the name we recognize them by today, the NTU CAC Guitar Ensemble. The Guitar Ensemble is now a full fledged society that recruits main committee members and performers annually. The club maintains its membership at 70 to 80 students every year. To keep operations running smoothly, the Ensemble members are sub-divided into three groups: Beginners - consisting of those newly introduced to the art, Foundation - for intermediates, and Main performers - for the maestros (Experts). This year’s committee is headed by Sheena Chee, the reigning Guitar Ensemble President. She is assisted by Vice President, Monica Jocylenne Handayani and together, they co-ordinate the entire Ensemble to attain excellence. The NTU CAC Guitar Ensemble has performed for numerous shows and concerts in the past and will continue to showcase its talent in the coming years. Key events that the Ensemble participate in are the Guitar Festival and self-organized concert– ‘Nocture’, held in March every year. Earlier this year, the Ensemble was privileged to perform for Singapore Scholarships. More recently, they participated in NTU’s very own Union Day Performance held in August. Mr.Thomas Liauw, NTU alumnus and prizewinner at the Golden Kite World Song Festival 1991, is the official instructor for the Ensemble. The main performers hone their skills under his tutoring and guidance. The Ensemble utilizes different types of guitars ranging from Soprano to Bass to Guitarron to create a plethora of high and low pitched melodies. Their guitars are specially-designed guitars by Hiroki Niibori for performing in orchestra-style. The group is skilled in a variety of music styles – Classics, Contemporary, Latin, Jazz, Chinese and even Japanese pop. Being encouraged to be creative and innovative, the members even use their own song arrangements. The NTU CAC Guitar Ensemble is a group of devoted students who work patiently and passionately to make the Guitar Ensemble a true musical success.

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CAC Choir

CACpress Text: Sanket Gupta Photo: Courtesy

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stablished in 1989 in an effort to promote choral awareness among NTU students, the CAC Choir’s perseverance and passion for singing are paying off as they gain greater local and international recognition. The Choir has numerous awards to date. They were the leading chorus in the World Premiere of Verdi’s grand opera “AIDA” in 1996 and have obtained 2 gold diplomas in the World Choir Games in Xiamen, China in 1999. The Choir has also travelled all over for performances in Genting, Malaysia as well as Pohlheim, Germany. Most recently, the Choir participated in the 36th Festival of Songs in June 2008 at Olomouc, Czech Republic. They were awarded a gold medal and emerged champions of the Folksong category. The Choir aims to achieve excellence in choral music and to reach out to the masses. To achieve this goal, the Choir believes in extensive practice. All the members meet twice a week for intensive practice. As the days draw closer to concerts and competitions, the Choir dedicates to 15 hours a week on rehearsals. The Choir boasts its own resident conductor, Mr. Yong Chee Foon, a prominent and upcoming conductor in Singapore’s choral scene. In his Victoria Chorale days, Mr. Yong did Singapore proud by achieving medal in a number of competitions, including the Choral Competition in Riva Del Garda, Italy, and the Langollen International Music Eisteddford in Wales. His love of the art is manifest in the performances which have been applauded by both young and old since the Choir’s date of creation.

Looking ahead, the Choir have plans to expand their repertoire. It will try to extend its reach among the masses. As the day of their 20th anniversary draws closer and closer, the Choir is gearing up to work harder and harder to make their annual concert, Cantemus, a success. Witness NTU’s choral wonder at their 20th Concert at the Victoria Concert Hall on 7th March 2009!

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The NTU CAC Choir may have left their footprints all over the world, but they firmly believe in giving back to the nation. They perform regularly at local events in an effort to share their appreciation of choral music with our nation. They are also always seen at the Corporate Dinner and Dance parties of working companies. You may even spot the Choir as they spread Christmas cheer by carolling at hotels and shopping centres. Beyond performing, the Choir also believes in intercultural mingling, so it is not a surprise that out of the 50 members in the Choir, only a minority are Singapore while most of them are Malaysians, Indonesians and Chinese. Following past practice, the choir has performed songs in Russian, Chinese, English and many other languages.


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Reflections 2008

Text: Lim Weili Photo: Courtesy

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ll about the arts, and all about the artists, Reflections 2008 is an arts festival that is a treat for the eyes, ears, and mind. Apart from being both refreshing and insightful, Reflections 2008 also promises great entertainment, with a star studded lineup of guest stars including the multi-talented Hossan Leong and Project Superband winner Mi Lu Bing, alongside a showcase of talent featuring the students of Republic Polytechnic (RP). Running from 3 - 28 November this year, Reflections is an annual arts festival, currently into its second year. Organised by The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC), it aims to provide the platform for local artistes of all art forms to reflect the vibrant arts culture among the youth, while bringing the arts to students.

With an array of performances featuring seasoned concert performers like The T’ang Quartet and The Main Wayang Company, alongside student performing groups like The Republic Polytechnic Wind Symphony, it is hoped that students and performers alike will benefit from the exposure and synergy. Apart from increasing their appreciation and understanding of art, Reflections also aims to engage the greater Singapore community in general to rediscover and redefine their passion for the arts. Events like Reflections 2008 are hardly a new trend where the arts scene in RP is concerned, as TRCC regularly organizes events for the school community, with the last being the Ignite Music Festival in July, which featured local bands like Electrico and Allura, as well as music from RP’s own interest groups. All these events help contribute to a hip and vibrant arts culture on campus. Interestingly, Reflections also features works by the staff of RP, a refreshing difference from other school-based art festivals. Noting the enthusiasm of the staff in participating this year, Yeo Meng Yee (Marketing and PR officer of TRCC) said, “It was our RP staff who approached us to indicate that they are keen to perform and be part of the festival. Some of our staff are members of outside performing arts groups.” She also noted that the RP community in general had been very supportive of the whole event, with ticket sales picking up since promotions started last month, and some volunteering to help out as behind-thescenes crew. One of the main highlights of the festival this year is the Visual Arts exhibition, themed “Youth Wonder”, which lasts from 3 Nov 2008 to 31 Jan 2009. It features 130 art pieces from 8 primary and secondary schools, as well as some from RP, which will be displayed at the Woodlands Regional Library and at various locations across the RP campus.

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Reflections 2008 also features a series of free admission performances like “You got Beats II” on 4 Nov, a celebration of music and percussion, among many others featuring all manner of art performing groups like magicians, rock bands and poets. There are even masterclasses available, for those interested in puppetry, being a DJ or photojournalism. More information on the festival can be found at the TRCC website at http://trcc.rp.sg/. This year, Reflections 2008 will be closed by Project Superband winners at the TRCC theatre by serving up their signature fare of rock music. For a festival that promises to be a bang, it is only fitting that it ends as one.


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Text: Lim Vera Photo: Courtsey

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ove aside Gilmore Girls! The Gemuk Girls are taking the stage. The Necessary Stage (TNS) presents Gemuk Girls, “another provocative new piece from the award-winning director-playwright pairing of Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma … [that] explores the fundamentals of text and of realism by scrutinizing pressing issues that affect society today”. But just who are the Gemuk Girls? The play takes on the perspectives of 53-year-old Kartini Marzuki and her politically active daughter, Juliana, addressing issues of politics, of family and the individual role in society through their lives. Upon receiving news that Kartini’s father had been arrested and detained during the 1960s, this motherdaughter pair takes the audience into their past as things begin to unravel. Art Jam spoke with the cast, as well as playwright Haresh Sharma and found out what they will be bringing to the art scene this time round. They will also share their intimate thoughts in this exclusive interview. Art Jam: Hi there! Please give us a brief introduction of the play. Who are the Gemuk Girls?

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Siti Khalijah: Gemuk Girls are Juliana and Kartini and they are a rather unique mother-daughter pair. Kartini is the

completely over-the-top mother while Juliana is her proper, politically active daughter. The things they talk about and their behaviour can be quite out of the ordinary but yet familiar to some. They are confident, smart and fabulous! That is, until they received a piece of news about a family member from the past who was arrested and detained 1960s which can/will affect their current perfect lives. Aidli ‘Alin’ Mosbit: I play the role of 53-year old, Kartini Marzuki, an ex-hippie with rebellious tendencies, who loves her garden. I am also the mother to an aspiring politician, Juliana Lim Abdullah-Marzuki. Gemuk Girls is the name Kartini gives to this relationship/ friendship that she shared with her ‘fat’ youngest daughter, at the same time, boosting the girl’s selfworth and empowering her.


preview Aidli ‘Alin’ Mosbit: In a way, yes! It all began quite accidentally, when I was rehearsing for another play with Siti about a year ago. In it, we play mother and daughter too. As we were rehearsing our lines, Haresh jokingly made us do our English lines in Malay and forced us to speak them very fast. I guess Haresh and Alvin found it rather amusing! Haresh said that we were like the Gilmore Girls. I laughed and suggested we’re more Gemuk than Gilmore! (laughs) That became the working title of this project. Now, however, after the various phases of devising, researching, writing and crafting, Gemuk Girls has given very ‘heavy’ innuendoes to the play in so many different levels, from ‘excessive’ personalities, to emotional ‘baggage’, to political ‘weigh down’. AJ: The press release read that “Their [the Gemuk Girls] whole world is taken for a spin when they receive shocking news about Kartini’s father who had been arrested and detained during the 1960s. From then on, the floodgates of the family’s emotional past are thrown open.” --- What is the role of the father in the play? Najib Soiman: He’s a photographer who wants to be a father with a strong bond with his daughter and wife; he hopes to teach the child values and beliefs, he dreams to be a father that has great impact on how his child views the world … but before he could achieve all this, everything was taken away from him, he was detained but then in the play, he appears in shifting time zones. His role is to time-travel with the audience through the past, present and future. AJ: Do you think the play reflects Singapore’s political situation today? Especially since Kartini is about to embark on a political career and her father was arrested and detained during the 1960s? Haresh Sharma: I was interested in the notion of ‘free speech’ and ‘freedom of expression’ and what that means in Singapore today. That’s why I created a narrative which juxtaposes the 1960s with the present and the future. Marzuki is the man who was arrested and detained in the 60s. In the present, his granddaughter Juliana is keen to embark on a political career. The person caught in between is Kartini – Marzuki’s daughter and Juliana’s mother. In my research I discovered that there was a lot more expression and defence of freedom in the past, for example in the media, and more importantly, in

the public. I wondered why things have changed so drastically now. The play also looks at detention and the issues surrounding detention without trial. These may sound like very heavy and controversial issues, but they will be presented in both serious and humorous tones. I’m confident that our audience will appreciate the need to tackle such issues head-on. ArtJam: Does gender and gender-biased perspectives play a part in the lives of the characters? Haresh Sharma: It does, to a certain extent. After all, the play is called Gemuk GIRLS. But honestly, I didn’t write the play with a gendered perspective. Their struggles, their joys and cries are more individual and emotional rather than gender-specific. ArtJam: What are your personal inflections on the play? Siti Khalijah: I personally feel that it’s an important piece of work. The play is quite moving and it deals with very real issues on the many perspectives of politics, without dragging them out for too long. And Haresh and Alvin have written and directed it in such a way that it will not be too heavy for the audience because there are many light, humorous moments in the play as well which makes it even more exciting and enjoyable to watch! Aidli ‘Alin’ Mosbit: This is one of those plays that will really please an actor because it really challenges the actor’s ‘craft’ and abilities. Just like the role of Habiba, in ‘Fundamentally Happy’, which I played 2 years ago, Kartini’s role also demands emotional and psychological ‘gymnastics’. And of course, this play will give us a glimpse of how and why politics is a very ‘strange creature’, that we fear and don’t quite understand, in Singapore. Najib Soiman: I like! Power to the max and I agree with them.

about to This one-of-a-kind play is not . It is a play for bore you with feminist talk to enjoy. Every all (and we do mean ALL) ng in Singapore Singaporean, or person livi ns the play can identify with the concer ture your brings up. This play will cap attention, and your hearts.

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AJ: We’re curious. Is this play inspired by the channel 5 drama series Gilmore Girls?


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Singapore Lyrics Opera

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s October surrenders in and November takes its place, Singapore is in for an intangible ride of a lifetime. Get ready to be enthralled by sound of choruses of high quality opera production that will surely leave you amazed. Be in awed of the sound beautiful choruses and angelic voices as both the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO), and the Singapore Lyric Opera Children’s Choir (SLOCC) take their stands on stage at the Esplanade Theatres. The SLO is prepared to give you Puccini’s Gala, bringing countless classics to the Singapore’s opera stage. In collaboration to the 150th Anniversary of this legendary composer, Puccini’s Gala will portray Puccini’s unique style who had strong emphasis on melody and unparalleled manipulation of orchestral choruses featuring classic pieces such as Mario! Mario! From Tosca, Si, mi chiamano Mimi from La Boheme, and Nessun dorma from Turandot. Puccini’s production has always been popular for the use voice in the style of speech: characters sing short phrases one after another as if they were talking to each other.

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Without a doubt, the SLO is not just any ordinary musical institution. It has SLO has been well known for its milestone in one of its biggest production of Turandot, an opera of three acts by the world’s most famous composer Giacamo Puccini. The SLO is yet to present its best performance! Having been awarded Major Grant status by the National Arts Council, the SLO is the only arts group in Singapore promoting and presenting western opera. Founded in 1991, the SLO is not an experienced art group at all. Their aim is to provide good quality work with an objective of expand the opera experience to a wider audience fulfilled through their outreach programmes. We began to see these objectives unfold with its regular seasons of opera productions such as the Madama Butterfly (2005), The Marriage of Figaro (2006), The Barber of Seville

Text: Joyce Chua Photo: Courtesy

(2007) and La Traviata (2008) which continually won new audiences over and acclaimed numerous accolades. In addition, SLO’s mission in education led to them starting the Singapore Lyric Opera Children Choir in August 2006, providing opportunities to children and youths for musical training in both voice and stage skills. Children from the age of 8 to 15 years are a part of the Children’s Choir conducted by conducted by Ms Khor Ai Ming, with rehearsal pianist Lim Yan. The SLOCC made its debut on 8 & 9 December 2006 in All That Jazz and was invited to perform with Jeremy Monteiro at the Noel Asiana Concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Yet, still with a mission to impact all walks of life, the Singapore Lyric Opera Youth Choir (SLOYC) was formed in October 2008 giving older children and youths another platform to showcase their musical talents on stage. This November, SLOCC with its 2nd solo with the newly formed SLOYC will be making its debut together performing What a Wonderful World on the 4th November at the Esplanade Theatre. In What a Wonderful World, the choir will sing proclaiming the beauty and majesty of the earth with musical pieces from Vivaldi and Puccini. This concert will feature music from all over the world, among which are Austria with Edelweiss, China with Mo Li Hua (Jasmine Flower) and Paris with Cert-volant made by famous Les Choristes. This year’s concert will definitely be an experience of a lifetime, and it surely cannot be missed! Be sure to catch the Puccini’s Gala and What a Wonderful World and let your life be brought in a whole new dimension of life in the musical world. Get ready to be blown away! See you there!


Singapore’s

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Violin Prodigy – See Ian Ike

Text: Charmaine Pan Photo: Courtesy (SSO) Charmaine Pan

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Two years ago, 17 year old violin prodigy See Ian Ike was offered a prestigious music scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in the United States to pursue a degree in music studies. However, his appeal to MINDEF to defer National Service was rejected twice – so the former student of Raffles Institution had to settle for a 2 year diploma program before returning to Singapore for army.


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ke, as he likes to go by, is one of the few local music prodigies Singapore has seen hit the global stage. At the tender age of 10, he had already attained a grade 8 certificate in violin (which, incidentally, is also the first graded music examination he had taken) and has been continuously adding to his long list of achievements. Since 2002, he has performed as a soloist in many concerts around the world – including London, Vienna and the States and has brought the Singapore National Youth Orchestra to first place in the orchestra category in the 34th International Youth and Music festival held in Vienna, where he was concert master. Art Jam was fortunate enough to snag an interview with the prodigy to find out his thoughts on his music, his life and his future.

What do people call you? Ike.

Do you find your name unique?

Yeah, I think so. It’s kind of related to my Chinese name and I like it that it’s unique. But one thing I didn’t like about my name was that almost every time an MC introduces me onto stage, they never get it right. They usually pause before the ‘Ike’ and ponder about it for awhile, and still get it wrong by pronouncing it as “ee-kay” or something. It makes me sound Japanese.

How long have you been playing?

I have been playing the violin since I was 4 years old. My first teacher was my mom’s colleague at the time and she got me started on both the violin and piano. But sad to say I haven’t been able to keep up with my piano playing and stopped after getting my diplomas. I spent more time on the violin than I did on the piano, which was all along a 2nd instrument to me as I started the violin first.

How many hours a day do you practice?

For the past two years when I was in Curtis, I tried to practice about 4-5 hours a day every day. But now, I try to squeeze in as much as I can on the weekends when I book out from camp.

How long does it take for you to learn a piece? Any piece you’ve had difficulty learning? It really depends. It doesn’t take very long for me to actually learn the notes, but to learn the music – it can take a lifetime. And no, for most pieces that I’ve tried, I end up working on it for awhile and after, I can kind of play it.

I heard you auditioned to a few music schools. What made you choose Curtis?

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I applied to the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory and travelled to all but Eastman for the auditions. I was accepted at all, but what made me choose Curtis was partly due to their selectivity and the fact that they give their students full tuition scholarship that covers everything except lodgings and food.


cover story So what did you learn in Curtis?

At Curtis, I definitely worked a lot on solo repertoire, which I have been doing before that. But one thing I did more was work on Chamber Music, which includes more quartets and groups, and that really helped me in my musical studies. I find playing in chamber settings is one of the best and hardest experiences as it’s not like an orchestra, where one guy is in charge. Chamber is more like a few guys working together and everyone throws in ideas on how to play together. My experience in there really helped me a lot in music. Also, the Curtis Orchestra was just amazing. Being able to play with them blew my mind away because everybody there is so good and they play so well together that it felt like I was part of a professional orchestra.

Do you feel like your playing has improved after spending two years there? Yes, by a significant bit. For me, a lot of things have become much easier but not because I’ve gotten so much better, but rather that my teachers there have paid a lot of attention to the fundamentals and corrected a lot of my bad habits. They also pinpointed out a lot of points necessary for performance so it helped solve a lot of issues I had.

Apart from music, was there anything else you learnt while you were there? I took a lot of music classes, like harmony, and did a bit of piano there as well. They also offer a wide range of liberal arts classes and classes at the University of Pennsylvania. I took a year of History of Western Civilization and a semester of language and literature in addition to my music courses.

Did you ever feel lonely at Curtis?

No, I missed home more at the beginning, but I used to fly back about twice a year during Summer and Christmas break to see my family.

Girlfriend? Ideal type of girl?

No, I don’t have one. As for my ideal girl – she doesn’t have to be crazy about music, but at least appreciate it or like it. Or perhaps just be understanding of my obsession with it.

What if she gets jealous because you spend more time with the violin than with her? Then… too bad! It can’t be helped!

Is there any particular piece of music you’re working on now?

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At the moment, I’m not really learning something new but I’m trying to keep up with the old stuff, especially if I plan on performing it sometime. And I don’t always play something new at concerts so, I have to revise a lot of my past pieces.


cover story Do you have any sentimental value for your violin?

Not to one particular violin, but for each instrument I play – so far, I’ve only played on 4-5 violins – it gets kind of close to you. So basically, I’ve had some sentimental value for each violin that I’ve played. I don’t actually own a violin at the moment, since the one I’m using now is on loan from a man who loans out instruments to a lot of students and people.

Have you ever broken a string during a performance before? Yes, I have! Once, I broke an E string while I was playing a concert solo with a piano for a church fundraising event. I had about a page or a bit more when it broke, but I did something stupid by trying to cover it up and improvise using the other strings. But the next time it happens, I’m going to stop and change the violin.

So thus far, what has your biggest achievement and setback been?

I think to date; my biggest achievement might be getting into Curtis. It’s been one of the biggest challenges as they do a tool round audition. There’s about a 100 students auditioning in the 1st round but by the end of 2 days – it’s cut down by at least half. And out of the 100, usually about 6 or 7 people get in. As for setbacks, I wouldn’t consider my failures as setbacks. When I went for an international competition held in Switzerland and didn’t get past the 1st round – but I wouldn’t really call it a setback but rather view it as an experience.

If you didn’t have music, what would you have done?

I… have no idea - absolutely no idea. I’ve not dreamt of being anything other than a musician since I was a small kid. Prior to that, it would have been the usual policeman, fireman type of ambitions.

Was there anything else you wish you could’ve done more instead of music?

If I really had to choose, it would be sports, I guess. I wish I could play a bit more tennis. But one sport I really liked while I was in the States was table tennis. They had a table in the common room so I played a lot of it with my classmates.

You know, most famous musicians are eccentric and emotional people. Do you see yourself as one?

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No, I don’t feel as one. I’m not a very eccentric or emotional person. I’m not even overly sentimental and everything, though I really like music from the Romantic Period. I guess most of my friends just think I’m crazy because we have different musical tastes and my Ipod is basically classical music all the way.


cover story Do you ever listen to a particular song when you’re sad or to make yourself feel better?

I don’t really think I listen to music because I feel a certain way. But one song I never get bored of and keep going back to is the Brahms’ violin concerto.

So what are your future plans?

My ultimate goal is to become a performer. I want to travel the world and just perform my whole life. I also want to do a bit of conducting and hopefully when I return to Curtis, I can. In the short term though, I really want to go back to Curtis and get my degree in violin performance and hopefully go into performing art after. I might do a little bit of teaching, but performing will definitely be my main career.

Conducting? Is it easy?

No, it looks easy but it’s not. It’s not just waving a baton around. On stage, it looks like all you have to do is wave but to prepare for that you have to do a lot of prep but you think about how you practice so hard, but when you’re a conductor you have to know the music so well that you can like rehearse with the orchestra.

Have you ever considered other instruments?

No, not really. I love the violin. But I would want to play the cello if I didn’t have violin. I’d also like to learn the guitar, but that would only be in addition to the violin/cello.

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See Ian Ike is now currently serving his first year of National Service and will be returning to Curtis to get his degree in Music after. We wish him all the best in his music career and hope to see more of him on the global stage in the future.


review

Text: Audrey Lim Photo: Nguyen Pham Hai An

ARTSpeak Series – Power 98 FM School Invasion

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he Public Affairs Committee of Cultural Activities Club in Nanyang Technological University proudly presents “Power98FM School Invasion” as part of the ARTSpeak series. Jensen Ho and Elliot Danker, both co-hosts of the afternoon show on Power 98FM, “Your Daily Dose” were invited to Nanyang Technological University on 2 September 2008 for this event. It was targeted to give interested students first hand information on what they wanted to know about having a career in broadcast radio. The deejays started off with a brief introduction of themselves before proceeding into their introductory talk. They addressed important issues that students were concerned about such as the requirements needed to become a deejay, stating that a diploma was the minimum requirement needed, so was a “good voice” on top being natural and having a personality. Responding to the question posed by one student on how to get started in the industry, Jenson replied that for himself, he started out by sending record demos of his voice to radio stations and eventually he got the job. However, it was not an easy process he stated and he stressed the need to persevere and to keep trying in order to succeed. Questions were also raised about the starting pay which generally begins at $1.5k but could go up to a sum of $2k or more due to other job opportunities available such as doing voice advertisements for clients and hosting roadshow events. They debunked myths that radio deejays only had to work 3 hours per day and added that radio is not all about having fun, stating that their schedules can get pretty tight. Jenson and Elliot also informed the group of students that outside of their required job scope of hosting the shows and making preparations, they sometimes also needed to cover events such as roadshows and events on weekends. However, both deejays were quick to mention the perks of being a radio deejay. Both deejays candidly and gleefully added that they pretty much got the first and inside scoop on new movies and parties and were mostly given free CDs by record companies wanting to push their own songs.

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Apart from talking about the requirements, they also went on to clear the air up about who decides which songs get played on air. As it seems, the deejays do not get to choose which songs to play. Instead, it’s the music director that chooses the songs. Answering a student’s question on how the music director decides which songs to play, the deejays replied that the music director will foresee the potential of the song and base it on how catchy it is before deciding whether or not to give it airplay. They were quick to point out that although they do not agree with what is being played sometimes, their job was to sell the station and its music and hence the need to maintain professionalism while on the job was more important. They also added that while the radio station plays mostly international music, Power98FM also supports local bands and hosts an annual PowerJam competition to allow local bands to have a platform to gain new opportunities. The talk given was informative yet light-hearted providing a much needed insight for students into the life of radio deejays. At the end of the session, a token of appreciation was presented to the deejays and students left the session with what they information they needed plus a goodie bag (for the brave ones that asked questions)!


heads up

Cocoquettes

Text: Brinda Cheng Photo: Courtesy

People say there is but a thin line between art and fashion. Indeed, this is reflected strongly in the works of many artists in various forms of fashion, after all it takes an artistic mind to come up with a brilliant piece of clothing. However, one particular aspect which caught my attention and I feel is a worthy mention is the representation of art through jewellery. Below you will read about an interview conducted with one very successful online shop, Cocoquettes - set up by two young budding artists Priscilla and Shisi, to further illustrate my point that fashion in itself is a form of art. Hopefully, it will give you greater insights on how art comes in many more forms than just paintings on the walls!

ArtJam: How strongly do you feel that fashion in itself is a form of art?

Cocoquettes: Fashion is definitely a form of art. To be specific, fashion is a subset of art. Not all art ends up as fashion because it is not always that every art-inspired piece makes it as a trend but those that end up being labeled as fashion are definitely artistic pieces in one way or another. Art is an individual expression and will not appeal to everyone. Those that do appeal to the mainstream are regarded as “fashion” but even then, they all originate from an artistic impression.

AJ: Where do you draw your inspiration for your works from? C: It all depends on what catches our attention. A painting could have a lovely blend of colours and that could inspire us to create pieces with the same colour tones. We get inspiration from all sorts of things including songs, stories that we hear of as well as the people around us. For example, we could listen to a certain song and the words or theme could inspire us to pair different beads and charms together to create something extraordinary. After all, some of the greatest artpieces came from artists who went through certain situations in their lives that gave them inspirations!

AJ: Which is your personal favourite piece? Is there a particular story behind it?

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C: We don’t actually have a favourite piece because we love almost all of our creations (as cliché as it sounds)! But if we really have to pick one, our favourite at the moment is probably this pair of earrings. One of our more eye-catching artistic pieces made with wooden beads, lace and other gorgeous materials – it’s definitely a keeper! We drew inspiration from a picture depicting trees in spring with bright blue skies but there was a dark cloud lurking. So as you can see, this pair of earrings has the green and brown colours of the tree with blue stars just like the blue skies and the black lace represent the dark cloud. However, we added diamante chains to the lace as our interpretation of a brighter future emerging from an expectation of evil. A true work of art indeed! :)


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AJ: Do you express your emotions and feelings through your artworks? How do you do that? C: Yes, definitely. Feelings of optimism lead us to create pieces with bright cheery colours and the contrary is true. However, not only do the colours play a part in displaying our emotions but so too do the complexity of the designs – on days where you’re not feeling too patient, it’s quite frustrating to come up with a complex design and have to make it twice (for earrings)! And we feel it is the same for other forms of art, such as writing music pieces, songs which reflect the composer’s feelings are those that will create an impression with the listeners. We have tried forcing pieces out when we did not feel like making jewellery and the final outcome was seriously disastrous. As such, we usually only make our pieces either when we have the inspiration or mood to do so, so all our pieces subtly showcase our feelings.

AJ: How do creating these pieces of jewellery relate to your love for art and fashion? C: Well, actually both of us are not really “artsy” in the sense that we can’t really draw (though we’d love to because we have so many images in our heads but we can’t pen them down) so jewellery-making is practically the only way we express our love for art. We’re both fashion-holics and we have a serious obsession with clothings! Of course, any gorgeous piece of clothing isn’t complete without equally eye-catching trinkets and that is what we love to create. With fashion and art, it is never transient and you would realise that in our artistic creations, we never stick to the same style of long. We enjoy experimenting with new ideas and designs all the time!

AJ: Would you go ahead with a customisation piece which you feel would not turn out to be a piece of good artwork? C: No. We only take up customisations at our own discretion. That is, we pick certain customisations to do and decline the rest. We basically ask a list of questions and retrieve all the information we need to be able to create a lovely piece of jewellery and if we feel that what our customers require isn’t something we can beautifully create, we usually decline it. Simply because of our love and respect towards art and how each handmade piece of jewellery reflects it, we’d rather decline their request and lose that deal rather than take it on and design something they will not absolutely adore.

AJ: How would you describe your artworks within 5 words?

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C: Mercurial, Eye-catching, Artistic, Chic and Fashionable


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AJ: Who are some of the greatest artists in the fashion industry in your opinion? C: In the jewellery industry, Edynae and Tzarist are two of the many great artists out there. Their pieces are artistic and beautifully crafted – worth checking out! Edynae: edynae.livejournal.com Tzarist: www.tzarist.com

AJ: In your opinion, is there a future for artists like yourself in Singapore? C: Yes! We have faith that if we were to pursue this full-time after completing our studies it can be an even greater success story. Regrettably, our plans aren’t confirmed yet. We strongly believe that true artworks will be appreciated and recognized wherever we go.

AJ: What words of advice do you have for the younger budding artists in Singapore? C: If you have a strong passion for it, keep going no matter what obstacles you face and you’ll succeed. Initially when we started, we were a small little store with hardly any business at all! Nobody knew about us and we hardly knew anything about the business but as time passed, we’ve learnt a lot and our customer base has increased tremendously. So, just stay true to your passion and you’ll definitely make it :)

More than just pretty fonts in any other online shop, Cocoquettes offers gorgeous pieces of jewelleries that are true expressions of the owners’ passion and love towards fashion and art. Worth every penny, I strongly encourage all fashionable people who can appreciate great pieces of artworks to take a look at the shop and I ensure you will find pieces that you fall in love with. Furthermore, the owners are now offering a 15% discount* for all ARTJAM readers! Just present this code (CCQARTJAM08) in your ordering form and start your shopping spree right now! Oh, and don’t worry about the stares, just tell them where you got ‘em! (:

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*Offer lasts for 4 months starting from (date of issue) and can only be redeemed once per person.


Events Listing October FUSED!

FUSED is an orchestra set up as an expansion of the Calypso Quartet, a string quartet made up of Jeremiah Chong, Chen-Ouw Mingtse, Arif Atmadja and Herbert Fan. Teaming up with other fine musicians from Singapore and playing all genres of music from Baroque to Jazz, the orchestra seeks to give the audience a musical experience not to be forgotten Date: 9 October Time: 7.30pm Venue: Lee Foundation Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Campus 3 Ticket: $15 (Sales start from 6pm at the door on the day of concert)

Checkmate The truths of relationships are hard to grasp, often masked by impassioned emotions. What if they are negotiated like the cold confrontation of a chess match, contemplates choreographer Albert Tiong in Checkmate. In his exposition of life’s endless battles, he imagines the clarity and immediacy of chess. Every match is a challenge – unforeseeable or anticipated. Take it in stride or ignore it. Yet every outcome is indisputable – a triumph or a defeat. Albert pushes the limits of agility, integrating movement with the pulsations of breath and the malleability of space, in this gruelling and energetic work featuring dancers from Taiwan and Singapore.

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Date: 10 October Time: 8.00pm Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio Ticket: Adults - $30 Concession for students, NSF, and senior citizens - $25

ARTSingapore 2008 Held annually in Singapore, ARTSingapore 2008 presents the largest, Asian contemporary art collection for the international art connoisseurs and buyers. Running for the 8th year and positioned as the established trade fair for contemporary Asian art, for the first time, this year’s event is at its largest attracting about 110 exhibitors from 16 countries. Providing a wide spectrum of the visual arts, such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs and editions, as well as video and digital art by more than 800 artists, ARTSingapore 2008 has long established itself as the platform to sought for artworks produced by both renowned and emerging artists. Date: 10 – 13 October Time: 11 am – 8 pm (10th & 11th October) 11am- 5 pm (13th October) Venue: Level 4, Suntec Singapore Ticket: Adults - $10 per entry Session Pass - $20 for 4 days Free Admission for Students & Children under 16

Solos, Duets and the Vacant House The Vacant House, award-winning choreographer Loretta Livingston looks at the ghosts and whispers of recall within human beings, and the themes of memory and departure, love and separation. Inspired by Livingston’s research into Korean women writers, this dance features text by Shin Kyung-suk and Murielle Rykeser. Other choreographers include Mark Haim, Omar Olivas, Evan Gao Yu Wen, Melissa Quek as well as Wong. Date: 11 & 12 October Time: 3.00 pm (Sunday only), 6.00pm Venue: Esplanade rehearsal & Practice Rooms Ticket: Adult - $15 Concession for students, NSF and senior citizens: $10


Music for Flute Following his sold – out recital last year, NAFA Faculty and Singapore Symphony Orchestra Principal Flautist Jin Ta returns in another magical evening of music for flute. He will be joined by guest flautist Midori Miura in the delightful Duettino on Hungarian Motifs by Franz Doppler. 20 October 6.30pm Lee Foundation Theatre $8 at www.gatecrash.com.sg

The Los Angeles Philharmonic with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Yefim Bronfman Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim, a Grammy Award and enthusiastic audiences worldwide. Date: Time: Venue: Ticket:

26 October 7.30pm Esplanade Concert Hall $48 - $158

November Love in Translation Move to the rhythm of the French Caribbean music ’Zouk’ and travel with Andayoma as she shares her soul and world of giving, warmth and sensuality with her Love in Translation jazz and Caribbean repertoire. Discover a few originals songs written and sung by Andayoma herself. Most of all, be ready to lose control of your body as the music gets to you! Date: 6 November Time: 8.00pm Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio Ticket: Adults - $35 Concessions: for students, NSF and senior citizens: $25

Vietnam: The Hidden Charm Group exhibition by 8 Vietnamese Artists Transition is at the heart of this exhibition that features more than 40 artworks created by 8 Vietnamese artists. Transition can be more or less progressive or brutal. Transition happens between generations, between painting and photography, between abstract and figurative. But this transition can also occur where none expects it, in totals freedom. Lotus Gallery led by Madame Xuan Phuong introduces us to her vision of Vietnamese art, an art in transition, by these artists, between generations and disciplines. Date: Time: Venue: Ticket:

11 – 19 November 11am – 7 pm (Monday – Friday) 11am – 5 pm (Saturday) 2 – 7pm (Sunday) SG Private Banking Gallery, Alliance Francaise de Singapour Free Admission

A German Requiem Brahms’ mastery of the orchestral and choral come together in his landmark German Requiem. The inspiration for the work came to Brahms some 10 years earlier, upon the death of his mentor and friend Robert Schumann, and was undoubtedly spurred on by the death of his mother in February 1865. Date: Time: Venue: Ticket:

13 November 7.30pm Esplanade Concert Hall $11, $16, $26, $36, $50, $60

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Date: Time: Venue: Ticket:


DRAMA BOX: David the BEST!

December

David the BEST! poses open-ended questions and interact with the audience on social concerns pertaining to the idiosyncrasies and struggles of being small in a big world. The play shouts out extraordinary existence as ordinary beings. It provides a platform for our secreted voices as we cackle and sniffle together. Besides articulating the heartlanders’ voices the play is bespoke by views and experiences of the ensemble cast of four vibrant & diverse females which includes Patricia Toh and Jo Tan.

Julia Abueva “I Believe”

Date: 19 – 22 November Time: 8.00 pm (19 – 22 November) 3.00 pm (22 November) Venue: Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building, Level 3 Ticket: $28, $38, $48, $58 at www.sistic.com.sg

Puccini Gala Presented by Singapore Lyric Opera Undeniably one of the world’s greatest composers who ever lived, Giacomo Puccinni has brought countless classics to the world’s opera stages. Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) celebrates the 150th Anniversary of this legend in the Puccini Gala.

Introducing Julia Abueva, the singer child prodigy that has performed before tens of thousands in the opening of the SEA games 2005. Performing for nearly five years in musicals and only 12-year-old, Julia is currently one of the most sought after young talents for performances attended by ministers and dignitaries. Come be enthralled by her angelic voice as she sings a range of broadway, jazz and as well tracks from her new album in this debut solo concert. Date: 9 December Time: 3.00 pm & 8.00pm Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio Ticket: $30 at Espalnade Box Office and Sistic’s authorised agents.

The School of Rock “All-Stars” By The Paul Green School of Rock

Date: 21 November Time: 7.30pm Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall Ticket: $58, $48, $38, $28 and $20 from all SISTIC outlets

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs stars Elena Wang and Dwayne Tan, who played sweethearts Ivy Chan Poh Choo and Frankie Wong in Beauty World earlier this year; Broadway Beng Sebastian Tan who played Jack in Jack & The Bean-Sprout! will star as the beautiful and wicked Queen in his first drag role in 10 years!

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Date: 26 November – 20 December Time: 7.30pm (Tuesday - Friday) 2.30pm, 7.30pm (Saturday & Sunday) Venue: Drama Centre Theatre @ National Library Building Ticket: $29-59 from all SISTIC outlets

If you enjoyed the movie The School of Rock starring Hollywood comedian Jack Black, then you will love this concert… Be prepared for a night of rock and roll from The Paul Green School of Rock Music! Hard rock lives on with these kids who are full of attitude and phenomenal talent. Led by Aldo Nobue , the co-founder of School Of Rock, let these young performers wow you with songs


Date: 10 December Time: 3.00 pm & 8.00pm Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio Ticket: $24 (till 31 Oct 08, Fri), $27 (from Nov 08)

CIMB-SSO Christmas Concerts Lim Yau conductor Singapore Symphony Chorus Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir Mark your calendar for Singapore’s landmark musical event at Christmastime. The SSO is joined by the Singapore Symphony Chorus and Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir in a programme combining traditional and yuletide favourites. These are definitely the concerts to be jolly! Date: 11 December Time: 7.30pm Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall Ticket: Adults: $11, $16, $26, $36, $50, $60

2008 National Chinese Music Competition The biennial National Chinese Music Competition returns! Join the excitement as young music talents compete on the dizi, erhu, guzheng, pipa, sheng, suona, yangqin, and zhongruan. Organised by the National Arts Council, the Competition is a platform for music excellence, developing performing skills and identifying fresh talents as they compete before an international jury. Date: 12 December Time: 9.00am - 6.00pm Venue: Recital Hall Ticket: Free Admission (first come first served basis) www.nac.gov.sg/ncmc

The Nutcracker

A Timeless Ballet Classic for the Holiday Season The mega-production of the enchanting classical ballet will transport audiences into magical places such as the Land of Snow and Land of Sweets;

in a delightful world of toy soldiers, fairies, snowflakes, candy children, gingerbread people, and clock mice. Featuring an alternating cast of 200 dancers dressed in colourful costumes, fascinating projections, animated backdrops and enthralling stage sets, this ballet is the central production for the year-end holiday season of Singapore Dance Theatre. Date: 12, 13, 17 – 20 December Time: 8 pm Venue: Esplanade Theatre Ticket: $138 (VIP box), $108, $88, $68, $48 at www.sistic.com.sg

Beyond Boundaries Canto rock, Swedish pop, bossa nova and xinyao… None of these contemporary musical genres are what one would typically associate with a classical string ensemble. But in fine tradition, re: mix will once again prove that good music is good music, and it can be enjoyed with a classical twist. Date: Time: Venue: Ticket:

21 December 3.00pm, 7.30pm Esplanade Recital Studio $20

Teochew Opera – A Mother’s Woes Wu Xin, a compulsive gambler, gambles away his wife Ling Gu on their wedding day. Wretched, she attempts suicide, but is saved and adopted as god-sister by imperial officer Meng Hwa, on the Emperor’s mission with fellow officer Wei Gu in search of the country’s most filial son. Meanwhile, Wu Xin tries to sell his own mother, Madam Wang, but she escapes. Assuming she is dead, he takes to the streets, begging in his mourning clothes. Espied by Wei Gu and Meng Hwa who mistake his actions for those of filial piety, Wu Xin is nominated as the country’s most filial son, and is rewarded with a residence named “The Most Filial”. Date: 27 December Time: 8.00 pm Venue: Esplanade Theatre Ticket: $28, $38, $58, $78

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by Led Zepellin, Metallica and rock greats. The mosh pit awaits you!



Art Jam: Issue 16