Author: Albert Tay

A Tapestry of Sacred Music Arvo Pärt’s Passio: St John Passion in the Dark

It was an amazing experience to be invited by the Esplanade to perform in “A Tapestry of Sacred Music“. This annual music festival is presented by the Esplanade and sees some of the most colourful performances of spiritual-religious music by equally colourful performers. This year, I had the privilege to be part of this huge festival as chorus-master, preparing the Schola Cantorum Singapore for Arvo Pärt’s Passio. The concert was fully subscribed and the Esplanade Concert Hall was packed with an appreciative audience. The choir and I had a really good time studying in depth, Pärt’s music and delving deep into this poetic music and text that speaks of the spirit behind one man’s ultimate sacrifice. A big thank you to the Esplanade for inviting and hosting us so wonderfully, and a big shoutout and thank you to The Straits Times (ST Life 17 April 2019) and 938NOW DJ Eugene Loh’s live radio show for the wonderful coverage on this event.

Eulogy for Uncle Pang

I was pretty much brought up by “3 grandparents”. “Uncle Pang” (no blood relations) was like my 3rd grandparent. My 3 grandparents were pretty much the ones who bundled me up for school and Uncle Pang chauffeured me around most of the time. He worked at our factory during the day, washed, cooked and took care of my siblings and I when the rest of the family were away, took care of the python that decided to take refuge in our house toilet when we returned from an extended road trip visiting relatives, amongst many other things. He was always neat in appearance, courteous and punctual. Loyalty and a heart of gold I think it takes a really special personality to be possessed of such dedication and being able to work and be a family friend for more than 50 years. When my grandfather died, he stayed on, took care of my grandmother and my grandfather’s place and even paid for the mortgage and maintenance! When my grandmother was dying, he spent more time than …

神游上河 (Shen You Shang He) Handbell Music

I am really excited to be given the rare opportunity to conduct the Ministry of Bellz in the premiere of my latest composition, handbell music 神遊上河 for Solo Chinese Bass Drum, Solo Soprano, Handbell Ensemble and Mixed Choir. The premiere will be performed by Ms. Melodie Ng (Percussion), Ms. Grace Kuo (Soprano Solo), Ministry of Bellz & the Schola Cantorum Singapore Chamber Choir TODAY,  27 January 2018 at the Drama Centre Theatre Singapore (National Library). Tickets are SOLD OUT so hope you got your tickets early! 神遊上河 is a first for me, in many ways. Unusual instrumentation – solo Chinese bass drum, solo soprano, handbell ensemble and choir. “Live” projection of a really cool ancient Chinese painting (清明上河图) as the music is playing. And yes the painting is scrolling from right to left as per Chinese tradition! Compositionally, this is pretty new ground for me… taking inspiration from various places: Ancient Chinese 编钟 bian zhong (bell) music Modern Western handbell music Compositional ideas from contemporary pop and classical music THANK YOU Baba Damien LIM and the Ministry of Bellz for having faith in us and for commissioning …