Email & Eternity

My Composer’s Notes to

Email & Eternity, a full-length piece for solo erhu and solo pipa with a selected consort of master instrumentalists from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

(You can listen to the recording of the performance by clicking on the pic below:)


Waiting in airport lounges, pop music filters into your ear.

Your plane is cancelled because of a bomb threat. Entering a gift shop in Rome, you see a fat smiling golden Chinese Buddha. The shop assistant says to you: “Konichiwa!”

While sitting in a Singapore coffee shop you hear the news of the sacking of the antiquities museum in Baghdad.  You wake with a fever and you start getting seriously worried.

Life’s moments merge into one long plea for sanity…..    

I write music for myself. The music I myself need to hear as I live in a world gone crazy.   I don’t believe I am so different from other people. It is, therefore, a constant hope that sharing my music fills other people’s deep needs and longings and inner spaces too. And that it is enjoyable.

<Email & Eternity> is like much of my other work in that it is an attempt to make sense of this world, fragmenting as it is and reforming into a new, unexpected mosaic. If the music at times seems both very ancient and very modern, overly simple or overly complex, it is a reflection as much of this 21st Century as it is of an artist often bewildered by the speed of change.

But an artist cannot divorce himself from the world around him. As he lives and laughs, as he tries and fails and succeeds so his life grows and, hopefully, finds enlightenment, glory, contentment and peace.

As he walks in the midst of his society, his friends and his enemies, his family and his demons, so he finds his voice and his destiny. Artists are always growing up.   So, this music.   Freely given –  though dug deep from the mines of my heart. This music, freely shared – though it is the pain and passion of the wonderful musicians that has paid the customs and tax so that we can listen to it. This music, freely listened to and heard. Remember, it is in our listening that eternity starts to emerge in the midst of the impermanence of our digital age.



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