I’m always passionate towards modern/new music (as much as Baroque), and as a young composer I know that it is usually pretty difficult to look for players who are willing to perform such pieces. As a conductor, I love conducting new music too as the rehearsal techniques used in this genre(s) of music are usually different from rehearsing a Classical/Romantic symphonic work, and innovative, efficient and effective techniques can be further explored.

I had the chance to conduct a new composition, Directions, by Singaporean composer Kongmeng Liew. Kongmeng Liew was previously a Music Elective Programme scholar at the Temasek Junior College, and in 2011 he was awarded a full scholarship to study composition with Ho Chee Kong, at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. He also received lessons from Allain Gaussin at the 2012 Academie de Musique, Francaise de Kyoto in Japan, and has also participated in masterclasses by Chaya Czernowin and Charles K. Hoag, and has worked with several ensembles, such as the ELISION Ensemble and Ensemble Kujoyama. His compositional style revolves mainly around metaphors in music.

Directions is written for a small ensemble, and it was a challenge to rehearse and conduct players who were playing (and entering) in different tempos simultaneously. In my opinion, we had a good recording after some rehearsing and sorting out tempos and entries, and also because we had such talented players in the conservatory!

UPDATE: Directions was selected for a masterclass with Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyangi in Tokyo! Congratulations to Kongmeng Liew!