“Young composer Emily Koh’s compositions may come across as inaccessible to the general audience, with her unorthodox and atonal writing often leading to confusion. Yet her latest work, Jia[K], could very well be one of the masterpieces of the 21st century.
Aiming to depict the chaos sand sensory overload one experiences in our famed hawker centres, her scoring calls for inventive ways to create layers of sound by pushing the boundaries of traditional technique on the various instruments.
The opening muted trumpets created a buzzing effect which produced a disturbingly nervous energy when paird with the pizzicato violins.
Her audacity in writing an entire passage featuring just the double bass section stems from her training as a bass player, but who would have thought it was capable of such virtuosic and clearly sustained solos?
Principal conductor Okko Kamu is the antithesis of the modern conductor, who seems more interested in being watched than heard.
This consummate artist does not need fancy baton technique to get his point across and on this night the orchestra responded with aplomb.”