SILVER LININGS showcases 2 digital projects where music informs visual arts, and visual arts complements and completes the storytelling. In THE DREAM KEEPER, SMU Chamber Choir and SMU Artdicted collaborate for the first time. Against the voices of SMU Chamber Choir, we see drawings by SMU Artdicted light up progressively on a digital night sky, each representing hope and loss felt by people during the pandemic. In STRINGS OF DREAMS, SMU Guitarissimo will present 3 Niibori guitar pieces, visualised by award-winning digital artist Race Krehel. Each piece captures a different phase experienced by people around the world during COVID-19.
The Dream Keeper
THE DREAM KEEPER, arranged by composer Rollo Dilworth, takes its lyrics from Langston Hughes’ poem. Its persistent music motif represents the dreamers calling on the Dream Keeper to protect their passions and desires. Through the power of song complemented by the digital illustration of SMU Artdicted, SMU Chamber Choir sings of hope and love, reminding everyone to keep their dreams alive in these uncertain times.
Strings of dreams
STRINGS OF DREAMS consists of 3 distinct segments, namely ‘The Beginning’, ‘The Acceptance’ and ‘The Resolve’. With the music performed by SMU Guitarissimo, the digital artist is able to use software and programming to drive different changes in the animations by isolating the high, mid and low ranges of the strings. Some of these changes are simple effects like changing the size or colour of objects, while some are more dramatic like changing the power of dynamic forces used to control the movement of the entire simulation. You can experience any segment at any time by choosing the one you want from the menu on the top left corner of the video.
Segment 1 – The Beginning
(0:00 – 4:06)
Music: Lost Spring Elegy
Lost Spring Elegy is an original composition by the famous Niibori Composer and Arranger, Yuudai Hatanaka, commissioned specially for this year’s Arts Festival. The music is a poetic illustration of the loss of spring everyone experienced this year due to the pandemic. Visually, the piece opens with a mass of particles swirling through the void, signifying individuals getting swept up into the chaos that was unfolding. These particles begin to pulsate with energy, and a web of connections spreads out, symbolizing the literal electrons that connected us to the rest of the world through the internet as we were all forced to suddenly take refuge away from other physical beings. Many of the motifs present in the animation are meant to illustrate the interconnectedness that technology allowed us to have.
Segment 2 – The Acceptance
(4:07 – 8:38)
Music: World Dreams
Originally composed by Joe Hisaishi in 2004, and arranged by members of SMU Guitarissimo, World Dreams is a transitory piece that expresses the society’s willingness to acknowledge and adapt to the situation. In this piece, we see the illumination of the structures that emerged out of the chaos. Continuing with the recurring beams of light, geometric forms take shape seemingly randomly. With complexity through randomness, patterns coalesce naturally through space and time. These new connections form the structures of the new reality as we adapt and learn to overcome, while encapsulating the dreams of those who long for the world to be healed from the pandemic.
Segment 3 – The Resolve
(8:38 – 12:50)
An original composition by members and alumni of SMU Guitarissimo with the guidance of their resident conductor, Mr Ow Leong San. The final piece, March portrays strength through unity, and the conviction in creating a better future with new norms. The geometric forms have given shape to higher dimensional structures - the new society that has risen from the chaos. The music is positive and optimistic, and visually we see an image being “painted” out of individual brush strokes, something that represented the greater sum of the collaborative effort. Using various images of Sakura as the basis for the “painting”, it echoes a deeper meaning rooted in the ephemeral nature of reality. Tough times lead to good times, darkness leads to light, and together we can create a more beautiful world out of the crisis.
About The Clubs
Established in 2004, Artdicted is SMU’s visual arts club. Set up with a mission to foster art appreciation, the club engages the SMU community through a myriad of art-related events. Some of the activities include watercolour workshops and art jam sessions, all designed to encourage creativity and increase arts awareness.
SMU Chamber Choir
Formed in 2007, SMU Chamber Choir (SMUCC) has competed and achieved awards in several music festivals internationally, such as the 2nd Salzburg International Celebration and Choral Competition in 2019 where they received two Gold Diplomas and qualified for its first Grand Prix. Locally, the club bagged silver awards in the recent Singapore International Choral Festival. Apart from its annual production, Wrinkles in the Air, SMUCC also performs in various school events, community outreach programmes and carolling projects.
SMU Guitarissimo is a Niibori guitar ensemble. Established in August 2000, it is proud to be one of the oldest musical groups in SMU. Guitarissimo holds beginner guitar classes to the SMU community every semester. The club also provides its members with a chance to perform and shine, through platforms such as their annual signature production – Strings Blended, as well as their outreach showcases at Library@Esplanade and Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital.
The Dream Keeper
About the Music Director
Jennifer Tham has been with the SMU Chamber Choir since their formation, providing artistic direction for performances and collaborative experiences at home and on tour. A composer by training, she is curious about image-text-music relationships and brings this curiosity to her daily practice as a conductor. She was conferred the Cultural Medallion (Music) for shaping Singapore’s soundscape through her work with the SYC Ensemble Singers, enabling the amateur musician to be respected as an artist in their own right.
Strings of Dreams
About the Creative Director/ Conductor
Mr Ow Leong San joined SMU Guitarissimo as its resident conductor in 2011. He plays an active role in several Niibori guitar ensemble groups in Singapore, arranges for various musical groups, and is also a freelance instrument tutor for several school bands. An avid guitarist, Mr Ow is a member of the local classical guitar quartet Guitaresque, who won first prize in the 2004 Yamaha Guitar Festival. He is also the music director of Xposé Guitar Ensemble.
Strings of Dreams
About the Digital Artist
Race Krehel is a Singapore based American digital artist whose passion is to use the latest technology to create immersive experiences that change the way people perceive the world around them. His VR interactive piece Oceans We Make won the MBS Sustainability Award 2018 for its impactful message, and was showcased at a UN conference. He has also produced artworks that have been featured prominently in festivals such as the Light to Night Festival in 2018 and 2020, Malay Heritage Festival projection mapping in 2019, and most recently Gallery Light Up 2020 by National Gallery Singapore.
The Dream Keeper
Soprano: Faith Sim Jia Rui, Genell Lee Hong Ying, Han Chuin Chi, Law Lye Hong, Niu Siyu, Tan Sock Yee Amanda, Yoanna Pauline Kharisma Gotama
Alto: Bi Haiqing, Charlotte Cheong Tsi Yi, Chelsey Tan Jie Min, Ho Pei Ying, Nur Dini Binte Rahim, Petrina Phua Sing Yee, Yu Wanqing
Tenor: Kim-Chan Tze Kuo Wyz, Kingsley Lai Yu Wei, Lim Tzi Yih Timothy, Wan Choon Keat, Yap Chou Hur
Bass: Hong Zhengyang, Leow Hong Ee, Po Qi Lin, Robert Sim King Yiu, Wei Zihao
Chou Eu-Jyn Ryan
Digital Illustrator: Maple Tan Jie Er
Project Members: Adeline Chan Jia Ping, Carmen Yip Ji Yan, New Gin Lee,
Ng Jing Yi
Music Director: Jennifer Tham
Conductor: Kenny Khoo
Assistant Conductors: Hong Zhengyang, Kingsley Lai Yu Wei
Producer: Janice Low
Tech Producer: Ng Yong Ming
Production House: Firefly Photography
Audio Engineer: G77+
Strings of Dreams
Soprano: Tan Siong Min*
Alto 1: Dion Ang Wei Xuan*, Lee Ming Ding Joel*, Liu Enqi, Vanessa Low Yue Chi
Alto 2: Calten Koh Hui Hong*, Chou Bi Yun*, Ronny Paulus Muliawan*, Wijaya Willian Ong+
Prime 1: Phan Hoang Viet*, Qu Yixuan, Suraj Dhanraj Binwani*, Zhang Zehao*
Prime 2: Justin Tan Wei Lim+, Ong Yao Sheng*, Ronny Paulus Muliawan*
Bass: Hong Zhao Yi Moses*, Low Hui Ying+, Ng Yin Wen+, Yeo Pei Si Clarice*, Yu Yiling
Contrabass: Goh Jun Hong+, Tan Lye Jun*,
Guitarron: Chong Jin Jian#
+ 19th Executive Committee
# Guest Performer
Creative Director/Conductor: Ow Leong San
Digital Artist: Race Krehel
Original Composition (Lost Spring Elegy): Hatanaka Yuudai
Arrangers (World Dreams): Goh Jun Hong, Lee Ming Ding Joel, Wijaya Willian Ong
Original Composition (March): SMU Guitarissimo
Producer: Zhang Jingchao
Tech Producer: Anthony Kok
Sound Engineering: Poco Productions