Sounding Architecture in Concert

Sounding Architecture in Concert
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Loke Yew Hall, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road Hong Kong
Sounding Architecture in Concert

Department of Architecture x Department of Music

HKU Gamelan
HKU Percussion Ensemble
Dominique Chan, mezzo-soprano
Angus Lee, flute/piccolo
Tim Chan, percussion
Karen Yu, percussion
John Winzenburg, conductor


Ken Ueno
only the breaths of favorite poems herein, 2017
for ten vocalists with megaphones and 20-channel audio
nstallation, in collaboration with Thomas Tsang
*Hong Kong Premiere*

Chan Sze-rok
The Ghost Chase, 2018
for mezzo-soprano, piccolo, percussion & gamelan gong kebyar
*World Premiere*

John Cage
Ryoanji, 1983-85
for flute and percussion

M. Arham Aryadi
Dimension, 2018
for selected Javanese gamelan
*World Premiere*

Du Yun
How are you doing, the future that has never left, 2017
for video projection, in collaboration with Thomas Tsang
*Hong Kong Premiere*

The Sounding Architecture project is a series of expanding practices bringing together the Department of Architecture and Department of Music at The University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and Spring Workshop. Sounding Architecture in Concert showcases the performance aspect of the larger cross-disciplinary project.

Sounding Architecture critically examines the liminal space where art, architecture and music might overlap. Research in this case takes the form of bold new initiatives in cross-disciplinary collaborations, as historically, sound and architectural principles are discretized, rarely considered as contingent overlapping parameters in each field, though, in truth, they are. Anyone who has heard a piece of music in a space can learn to be sensitive to the fact that the architecture is a contributing factor to the resonance and, therefore, the music enfolding in a space. With the realization that architecture is ostensibly an instrument in all sonic conditions, architecture can then be factored into the musical composition. The move is this: Sounding Architecture seeks to architecturally materialize music and therefore instrumentalize architecture in order to liberate the phenomenological truth from historical discplinaritarian filters.

Sounding Architecture in Concert will take place inside historic Loke Yew Hall at The University of Hong Kong, utilising stage spacing in new ways. The program builds from Thomas Tsang’s installation Sounding Architecture: A Room with 33 Doors (2017) for the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen), which provides the frame for Ken Ueno’s musical composition written for this installation, only the breaths of favorite poems herein (2017) for ten vocalists with megaphones and a 20-channel audio installation originally installed amongst the door panels. Tsang’s reconstruction of his Shenzhen installation also provides a new setting for John Cage’s Ryoanji (1983-85), named after and inspired by the famous Zen rock garden in Kyoto, a piece in which the composer musically explores chance techniques for each compositional action.

Two world premieres featuring the HKU Gamelan and selected instrumentalists are staged in novel ways. Chan Sze-rok’s The Ghost Chase utilises text by Walter de la Mare, in a striking lighting design collaboration with Amy Chan. Indonesian composer, M. Arham Aryadi has composed a new work entitled Dimension, where each instrumentalist of the Javanese gamelan interprets the score proportionally and graphically. Finally, as part of an ongoing series, utilizing Tsang’s drawings qua graphic notation exploring new possibilities of transcribing oral traditions, is 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner composer Du Yun’s video work How are you doing, the future that has never left (2017).

This project has been supported by the Knowledge Exchange Interdisciplinary Grant at The University of Hong Kong, Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen), Seed Funding by the Design Trust, as well as Departments of Music and Architecture at The University of Hong Kong.

Thomas Tsang, Architect and Curator
Nanamu Hamamoto, Installation Designer
Amy Chan, Lighting Designer
Deborah Waugh, Director of HKU Gamelan and HKU Percussion Ensemble
William Lane, Programme Consultant