Large Ensemble

Echoes of the Unspoken (2021)

Video Score

Instrumentation: [string orchestra, percussion solo]

Commissioned by the 2020 Monash International Women's Day Composition Commission Prize

An ancient voice, murmuring in distance, retraces reminiscence of its own existence, searching to reveal what was left unspoken buried in the space of time. 


A spirit, carefully steps on each reverberance, nudges at who would listen, whispers gently of a nymph who speaks only in repetitive and fragmented utterances.


Inspired by the story of Echo, the nymph from Greek mythology, the two parts of the string orchestra in Echoes of the Unspoken act as the protector of these hidden threads of her voice. They enrich, embrace, and amplifies the soloist, much like the traces of Echo’s voice that were hidden within Gaia, the Mother Earth. The en masse sonority also at times works as a premonition to what is to come, fostering a malleable and organic environment that supports the soloistic materials to manifest.

Creased Impressions on the Imagined Surface of Becoming (2019)

Video Score

Instrumentation: [fl/al.fl, ob, cl, sax, tpt, tbn, vc, db, pno, perc]

Commissioned by ELISION Ensemble

This is a work that unravels the memories and impressions of a childhood spent in Taiwan, the country of my birth, and the lingering sounds of my mother tongue - Taiwanese.

Composed in two connecting movements, the first explores the idea of 閩 (ming) - the word origin for the Taiwanese dialect and a character made up of a snake/bug trapped within a “door” radical. This inspiration was translated into representations ranging from imitating the circulating slithering sounds to its struggle to fully express a given (melodic) phrase. The piece also features the making of an origami crane from the percussionist as an expression of memory, folded-in in making up layers of my own becoming.

The second movement (provided here as an audio excerpt) deals with the unfolding the past to meet with the present. One major feature in this second part is the visual element of light refracting off a silver acetate sheet. The patterns refracted from the material bears an uncanny resemblance to that of an organic matter and is here used to visualise the sonic texture that is soft, gently vibrating, malleable, and constantly shifting. The lights are controlled primarily by the percussionist and the pianist who joins in towards the end, aiming to create a total synchronization between sight and sound via a live, analog way of delivery.

Elastic Chirping (2018)

Audio Score

Instrumentation: [vln x 2, vla, vc, db, fl, ob, cl, bsn, acc, tpt, tbn, hn, pno, perc]

Comissioned by Royaumont Foundation

The piece walks the line between noise and what we consider as meaningful information that can be registered as decipherable content.

Inspired by how information is shared in this digital world via online platforms and broadcasting avenues, the presence of any true account of events has never been more susceptible to interpretation, imagination, and in some instances, becoming hijacked and infiltrated for ill use. The wide circulation of whatever versions of the truth has led to an ocean of opinionated noise, in self-enclosed echo chambers, simmering and reverberating in this elasticity of truth. And by doing so, overshadowing the essence of the matter that actually needs to be addressed and let known.

The existence of the alternative truths thus enabled ways that stretches facts to best benefit individual interpretations and needs, in a pick-your-own-adventure type of reality. Elastic Chirping is hence written as a commentary to this phenomenon, funneling some of my own observations, unsettled thoughts, reflections and wishes through the last few years, as the current global situation challenged many to fight for the course they believe in, to speak out and act upon issues that need to be heard.


Into the Outer (2014)

Audio Video Score

Instrumentation: 13 strings (8, 2, 2, 1)

Commissioned by Arcko Symphonic Ensemble

The original fascination that inspired Into the Outer was an exploration of notions of push and pull. Associating specific musical material with members and sections of the ensemble, I sought to create a landscape in which to explore the interplay between give and take, will and force, expansion versus contraction, and above all, propagation versus consumption.

A player possesses his/her material, and therefore is endowed with some sense of agency in the piece. Their material can propagate into the surrounding ensemble. This can be viewed both positively, as an exertion of influence, and negatively, as consumption and a loss of identity.

These ideas are manifest in the division of the ensemble into an inner string quartet and an outer nonet. Additionally, for every member of the string quartet, there is a quadrant, including the spatially corresponding members of the outer ensemble.

The string quartet is the heart of the system, a seed whose material propagates throughout the orchestra. It is tender and fragile, yet self- contained, content, and self-governing. As the piece progresses, this core gets extracted, borrowed, one-by-one, by their corresponding outer subsets. Its ideas and behaviour gradually submits, infiltrates into the mass, giving the noise-based larger force the ‘nutrition’ to grow and develop through this process of infusion.