MU­SI­CAL NOTES Ch­eryl Mah, con­duc­tor ex­traor­di­naire and cre­ative direc­tor of KLPAC Sym­phonic Band, delves into the melody of her life. By Sharmita Sum­mugam.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture -

Pre-show rit­ual I pre­fer a minute alone be­fore a per­for­mance, so I can fo­cus and visu­alise an “imag­i­nary per­for­mance in my head”. The art of con­duct­ing Con­duct­ing an orches­tra or a band is more than just wav­ing around a ba­ton. It is all about com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the con­duc­tor and

the mu­si­cians. Shar­ing your mu­si­cal ideas with peo­ple through the mu­si­cians you lead, is what con­duct­ing is. The mu­si­cians help you

ma­te­ri­alise your mu­si­cal vi­sion, what you hear in your head and how it should be ex­pressed. That is the big­gest chal­lenge as a con­duc­tor, to be able to com­mu­ni­cate with mu­si­cians via phys­i­cal move­ment

and fa­cial ex­pres­sions. KLPAC Sym­phonic Band I con­duct a band of 50 tal­ented mu­si­cians at KLPAC. Un­like an orches­tra, the KLPAC Sym­phonic Band has a wood­wind sec­tion, brass, and per­cus­sion. Each sec­tion has a spe­cific num­ber of mu­si­cians to bal­ance the sound of each in­stru­ment. Richard Wag­ner and Friedrich Ni­et­zsche I have al­ways been a fan of both the Ger­man philoso­pher Ni­et­zsche and com­poser Richard Wag­ner. They in­flu­enced each other and I in turn was deeply fas­ci­nated by their philo­soph­i­cal and mu­si­cal re­la­tion­ship. I have read ex­ten­sively about them, but never dared to lis­ten to Wag­ner’s mu­sic. His mu­sic needs to be un­der­stood on a deeper level, and I don’t think I am strong enough and emo­tion­ally ready to lis­ten to it. It’s not the right time yet.

Mu­sic trends In re­cent years, there are more con­cert pro­grammes that fea­ture movie sound­tracks, video game mu­sic, and many oth­ers that are of­ten ac­com­pa­nied by vis­ual stim­u­la­tion, of which the gen­eral au­di­ence in Malaysia de­fine as “easy lis­ten­ing” and a treat to both their hear­ing and sight. Hav­ing said that, there are still many artists and mu­si­cians out there who en­gage and put in great ef­fort to pro­mote mu­sic of all types.

To be a mu­si­cian The most im­por­tant char­ac­ter­is­tic you need

is to be open-minded. Mu­sic score that best de­scribes your life At the mo­ment, folk mu­sic of the serene English coun­try­side by com­poser Ge­orge But­ter­worth.

Dance around the world It’s al­ways good to begin with dance mu­sic, dif­fer­ent kinds of dance mu­sic, such as folk and tango. Why dance mu­sic? Well, that’s why we

have mu­sic – to dance!

Mah con­ducts a band of 50 mu­si­cians at KLPAC

V w i s o u h a s li a si e n r g o

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