Composing a short symphony with Yuan Leow Yunn


Tell us how a simple day in your life goes by

10am wake up

11am – 9pm teaching(3 day in a week, from 11am – 9pm  )

11am – 5pm teaching(2 day in a week, from 11am – 5pm  )

11pm – 5am (Composing, arranging, preparing teaching materials at home, marking students’ homework or reading books, watching movies.)

5am – 10am (Sleep)

There are two days off in a week, but most of the day will be used to make up classes or continue work that has not yet been completed.

What are your musical inspirations?

1)The definition of inspiration for me is: Generally speaking, the melody is automatically appear in my mind. For example, when I write the twentieth section, the next eight sections will automatically appear the entire arrangement, but it is not very clear, it takes time to combine together. Of course, the following dialogues often occur. “This is a good one, but is there a second, or third better? ”

2)Story. When I write to a specific friend, musical or film soundtrack, they will tell me about their stories. It is easier to structure when it have pictures, emotions that used to imagine. For every creation, I will work carefully, such as how long it takes between one action and another, which there is the rhythm I want to write.

3)When performances or arrangements are more frequent, I will be very emotional, which will make my felling more deeper and thinner, then many ideas will just jump out, naturally it is easy to have inspiration. If I only focus on teaching, it will be very rational and it will be difficult to have inspiration. That is to say, after stopping the composition for a period of time, it will take two to three days to adapt.

4)If it is compiled for commercial use, it will use more rational analysis. Not too inspiration.

Do you have a celebrity crush you aspire to perform with someday?

I want to work with national musicians and singers to appreciate their freedom, nature, and improvisation. Music is naturally integrated into the blood. For example, Sangpuy in Taiwan, Ani Choying Drolma in Tibet, and Mohar in Malaysia (Mohar has promised cooperation with me two years ago, but I haven’t started yet.)

How did your passion for music develop?H

Beginning with the influence of Rosdan. I went to a short-term Jazz Theory course under Rosdan. He often praised my work very well. With this talent, I fell in love with the composition.

Later, I loved and hated composing. why? Because it hurts me. Why not give up? The pain is because of my perfectionism. In the period of emotional, it will consume a lot of emotional energy, which make me feel very fortunate.

There is no such thing right and wrong or black and white in composition. How do I choose? Too many changes, too much uncertainty, but it is also its deadly attraction,

Love? It makes me sensitive and makes me feel the changes that have taken place in the world, including beauty and empathy for people.

Passion enthusiasm – for me this is the love and hate, that is, the pain and excitement of the fusion. I feel more and more that my life and the composition are closely related. I should use this talent to do something.

How do we have more young adults appreciate the traditional arts as opposed to simply watching a movie in the cinemas?

It is possible to start with traditional instruments and use modern instruments to play modern melody.

What are your comments on the current funding issues for the arts? How do you suggest we collectively work on this?

Let me talk about my own causes and consequences under this funding plan. If it wasn’t for Bernard’s proposal to open a personal work presentation, chances are that I would never want to have a solo concert. Because I am not good at planning, marketing, publicity, money management, and there is a lot of thing have to taking care of. Now because of the help of this funding plan, I have lost a lot of trouble. Many musicians just want to focus on the music world.

What do you think is the role of the artist in society?

The balance between sensibility and rationality. There are too many rational things around, especially the life of the city, which needs a balance of sensibility. Art is one of them.

Do you feel the need to modernise traditional music to still have it relevant in today’s world? What are your thoughts on that?

Art is related to life. We are immersed in modern information every day, including modern music, art, and entertainment. Combining modernity with tradition is easy to resonate. For those who do not often touch traditional instruments,  it can bring them a familiar and fresh feeling.

What is your favourite Malaysian breakfast?

Nasi Lemak

What has been your favourite piece of composition and why?

Most of the compositions from Debussy and J. S. Bach.

Debussy : I like the light, subtle art of Impressionism, many colours are used, many consonant and dissonant sound together yet feel calm and beautiful.

JS. Bach – The complicated contrapuntal writing and the consonant harmony.  His music make me calm and keep mind fresh as background music.

What has your experiences from performing abroad brought to the experiences performing locally?

The farthest I been is only at Singapore, therefore I have no experience with this.


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