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See List of Works
Splinter, Double Bass concerto
Sebastian Pennar and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre in July 2022, cond. Brett Dean
This is a short story, not about a hero, but about a pillar. It is a pillar that has stood in the same place, undisturbed, for generations. In truth, some of its origins are unknown, but if you look closely, you can see the many ways it has become part of the fabric of today. It looms high above us on the one hand, conquering the space around it, and yet on the other, has roots dug deep into the values we continue to uphold...
Hush for choir
"menacing and poetic" - Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian
East Asian identities (amongst others) are often characterised by the quiet, diligent, hard-working individual who excels academically but struggles socially in a robotic existence. Such monolithic portrayals speak to the ‘model minority myth’, a term coined in the 1960s to describe Asian Americans in contrast to African Americans as a mechanism to promote assimilation into a culturally white hegemony. Indeed, this “racial wedge”, to use Masako Fukui’s term, is part of a wider toxic environment where problematic racialisations of communities continue to damage our society today...
Gambit for 6 instruments
Riot Ensemble at Crossroads Festival 2021, Salzburg, cond. Gregory Vajda
Gambit takes inspiration from chess, a game I played semi-obsessively and competitively whilst growing up and rediscovered during lockdown. On being asked to write for the wonderful Riot Ensemble, I was pleasantly surprised to find that director Aaron Holloway-Nahum was also a keen player. We played a few games – all quietly intense, infrequently calculated, and ultimately frantic as we ran out of time to play our moves – from which the idea of Gambit was born.
Unveiling for Orchestra
Commissioned and premiered by Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, cond. Chloé Dufresne
This is a piece about openings musical, physical, and spiritual.
This is a piece inspired by those uncomfortable moments of moving towards an unfamiliar space.
This is a piece for those who get through the cracks.
This is a piece for the ones who continue to knock.
This is an unveiling.
AMAZON for found sounds
"one of the most original multi-media works to come out of lockdown" - Winner of Critics' Circle Young Talent Award
Created by with theatre-maker Elayce Ismail.
A trip to the Amazon takes an unexpected turn. Alex Ho and Elayce Ismail have never met in person. Neither had used zoom before lockdown. They now know a lot about the inside of each other’s homes: where the best signal is, what’s hanging on the back of that door just in shot, how well the sound of a reversing truck in London carries to Cambridge…
...chinese whispers... for SSA
Juice Vocal Ensemble at Cheltenham Music Festival 2018
"A perfect combination" - Max Reinhardt, BBC Late Junction
This piece looks to reinterpret elements of Chinese oral traditions within a musical context. There are thus sounds inspired on the one hand by Chinese musics, namely Chinese opera and ritualistic singing; and on the other, sounds inspired by the Cantonese language itself, using for instance the different ‘tones’ that make up the language as registral ‘mannerisms’ or ‘behaviours’...
Spiralling Scrolls for clarinet, viola and yangqin
Commissioned by London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Soundhub) and premiered at LSO St Luke's by Scott Lygate, Paul Silverthorne and Reylon Yount at LSO St Luke's.
Spiralling Scrolls looks to explore these ideas of distance and their implications on structural narratives and the development of relationships between instruments from distinct cultures. The piece looks to raise questions about the perception of identity and consequently how these identities can be recontextualised, reshaped and reimagined...