Dr Leung Chi-hin, Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural and Creative Arts, The Education University of Hong Kong, was invited by Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong (CMHK) to be a performing artist in the Out Of Out Heads (OOOH!) mini-festival to explore a new way for intensely intimate exchanges at close proximity in May 2020. The theme of the mini-festival was social distancing in response to the current pandemic situation.
The composition Sync (2020) for Fixed Media, Live Electronics and Audience Participation was composed by Dr Leung. He performed for five audience members one by one for eight to 10 minutes each.
Sync (2020) made use of Max MSP to program the audio effect and controls based on a fixed media created by the composer. The artist performed to only one audience member at a time with a laptop while providing headphones and a tablet for the audience members to manipulate some of the audio and musical effects during the performance.
The approach to the composition is based on morphing the connection between multi-timbral creation and sophisticated rhythm generation. Echoing the title Sync, the composition creates an unexpected expression and tension through the synchronous and asynchronous rhythms achieved through the exploration of the possibilities of contrapuntal writings.
The eight-minute, single-movement composition begins with propulsive rhythm to establish a stable, energetic tempo. Gradually, a more complex effect is created by deviating between synchronous and asynchronous rhythms. This polyrhythm-like realm against the stable opening rhythm generates a competitive mood, providing the audience with a unique audio experience. While the development of time in the work holds its energy and excitement, its timbre and visual elements play an essential role in creating a splendid, ever-changing kaleidoscope of colour.
The composition was recorded and adapted to an online environment at Monash University Museum of Art in June 2020.