Music and Makan - Discovering French Music
Music and Makan – Discovering French Music on the 23rd of April 2017 was great fun!! We featured accomplished young Singaporean musicians on the Flute and Voice, accompanied by a spread of sumptuous food (makan)! Guest were treated to a wonderful performance of French pieces by Rit Xu (Flute), Michelle Tan and Sherilyn Lim (Voice) and Aaron Chen (Piano). We heard pieces by composers such as Debussy and Offenbach, Ibert and Reynaldo Hahn and a couple of improvisations by Rit Xu, classical/jazz flutist – named flute loops!
Music and Makan has always been about connecting new audiences to the music and to the musicians in an engaging manner. In this session, beyond breaking down the wall between musicians and the audience through an ongoing conversation whilst performing, we experimented in several ways to achieve this;
(i) We included some jazz/improv into the classical music repertoire. Rit used the theme from a solo flute work, Sphinx by Debussy (which he performed) to create his own jazz rendition titled “Debussy”. He also used a looping pedal to create textures and layers (and accompanied himself!) in a performance of Loving you by Minnie Riperton.
(ii) We also included an audience interaction component, where Michelle rallied our guests to try out a breathing exercise that singers use to develop abs of steel and even had the audience sing along to a familiar tune (the lullaby) with a lot of heart, amidst uncomfortable chuckles.
For me, the highlight of Music and Makan has always been seeing the guests talk about what they just experienced with shiny eyes; delighted and energised by the discovery of something new, or an immensely enjoyable and educational experience. At the same time, I am in awe of our amazing local musicians and it is immensely gratifying to be able to provide a platform for them to be heard. What is an artist without an audience? These two factors will always be at the heart of Music and Makan and what we endeavour to bring to you every single time.
I was also surprised by the number of guests telling me that they miss singing and would like to take it up seriously as a hobby! It also didn’t hurt to have guests asking when the next Music and Makan was and telling me that they’d love to come!! Looks like we’re on the right track!!