SIP - SoundLAB Interview Project

Chung-Yan, Alison

Alison Chung-Yan
is a Canadian media artist

  • artist biography
  • and is participating in SoundLAB – Edition I

    example of soundart


    Interview: 10 questions

    1. When started you making music, what is/was your motivation to do it?

    I started playing piano at the age of 7 and have continued to play for the 28 years since. The idea of composing music came much later when I was asked to score the music for an independent film in 1998. Music is one of the few arenas in life where we allow ourselves to fully experience rather than suppress emotion. So whether it is performing, composing or listening to music, my motivation is the same – to feel until the end.

    2. Tell me something about your living environment and the musical ucation.

    I did not grow up in a particularly musical family – but sending one’s children to piano lessons was considered a rather ‘automatic’ thing to do. I was trained formally in classical piano performance under the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Western Ontario Conservatory of
    Music. Exposure to sound art, new media and composition was gained through a Diploma in Sonic Design program at Carleton University; a film-scoring workshop through the Canadian Screen Training Centre’s Summer Institute for Film & Television; and an Apprentice/Mentorship Program through the Guild of Canadian Film Composers.

    3.Is making music your profession? What is the context in which you practice music nowadays?

    I have served as a sessional lecturer on the Faculty of Music at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where I have taught courses in Computer Music; I also teach piano privately. Earlier in April, I exhibited an interactive sound and video installation at the 19th annual Images Festival held in Toronto. Music is an integral component of my work as a media artist.

    4. How do you compose or create music or sound? Have you certain principles, use certain styles etc?

    By bearing in mind the purpose of music as conceived of by John Cage: to imitate nature in her manner of operation.

    5. Tell me something about the instruments, technical equipment or tools you use?

    I use Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase SX as sequencer software; Max/MSP, SoftVNS and Jitter for algorithmic composition and the creation of interactive sound and video installations; and Flash for web-based sound art.

    6. What are the chances of New Media for the music production in general and you personally?

    Combining music/sound art with film, video, web, installations and other interactivity opens up all kinds of possibilities in creating a more immersive experience and a wider variety of ways to connect with an audience.

    7. How about producing and financing your musical productions?

    Primarily self-financed with the occasional arts grant awarded.

    8. Do you work individually as a musician/soundartist or in a group or collective?
    If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

    I primarily work alone but am open to collaboration if the right opportunity (and people) were to present themselves.

    9. Is there any group, composer, style or movement which has a lasting influence on making music?

    There are many influences. But chief among those whose ideas have affected me most would be John Cage, Philip Glass and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

    10. What are your future plans or dreams as a soundartist or musician?

    To create work that moves me as I have been moved.

  • Can works of yours experienced online besides on SoundLAB?

    List some links & resources