‘Snapshots’ full-length album by Liz Chi Yen Liew launched to coincide with Chinese New Year with an intimate London show at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.
Taking inspiration from key moments in her life – childhood, first love, bereavement and child birth Liew delves into her Classical piano roots and has written an evocative suite of filmic pieces with a dazzling blend of textures, melodies and atmospherics inspired by her British Chinese background. To celebrate and coincide with the album’s release, Liew performed an acoustic show on 1st February at Rich Mix (pics) joined live by Dennis Kwong Thye Lee on the ethereal guzheng (zither) and heavenly xiao (Chinese flute). The evening ended with a DJ set from Russ Jones aka Hackney Globe Trotter spinning tunes from China and beyond.
‘Snapshots’ by Liz Liew was recorded in North London’s Stella Polaris Studios and released by Stella Polaris Recordings as a limited edition CD (click here to purchase) and on all good digital outlets including iTunes and
“Liew’s score is outstanding and highly evocative…An elegant, organic blend of Chinese and Western classical as well as contemporary elements…It is cinematic in character and partly reminds of composers such as Ravel or Debussy.” – Rich Rainlore, Rainlores World of Music
“Liz’s debut solo album, released in February, is a fine example of British classical piano laced tastefully with oriental flavours. The combination of strings and keys make for a wholly satisfying aural experience and this album demonstrates Liz’s undoubted prowess as a composer and a performer” – Musicians Union magazine Summer 2014
“The multi-talented musician and composer Liz Chi Yen Liew …has created a vulnerable and beautiful collection of music… conjuring its own subjective imagery” – Max Geraghty, Music-News 4/5 stars April 2014
ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY:
Snapshots Album Launch Party/ Chinese New Year celebration with Dennis Lee and DJ set from Russ Jones RICH MIX, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA Main Space 8pm
Tickets: £6 (£4 conc) Box Office: 020 7613 7498 firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUM LINER NOTES:
LIVE MUSIC/DANCE SHOW:
The live music and dance version of SNAPSHOTS encapsulates universal moments in life told through contemporary dance influenced by Chinese Classical dance, an evocative live original soundtrack on piano, violin and Chinese instrumentation and video imagery. Here’s the show video teaser:
Snapshots is the first collaboration between British Chinese musician and composer LIZ LIEW and Taiwanese choreographer/dancer YUYU RAU who brings the stories of each snapshot to life, using a blend of contemporary dance influenced by Chinese Classical Dance. Fragments of each story gradually unravel through cinematic flashbacks as Rau portrays the stories, emotions and music through dance taking audiences on an evocative visual and aural journey, allowing them to reflect on their own experiences. The musical soundtrack is part filmic, with nods to Impressionist composers Debussy and Ravel, mixed with melodies inspired from Liew’s British Chinese background. Scored mostly for the piano with the addition of the violin and piano, Liew will be joined live by Dennis Lee on Chinese flute (xiao) and Chinese zither (guzheng). Liew, who was recently selected as one of the composers for New Music 20×12, a UK wide celebration of new music as part of the Cultural Olympiad, commented:
‘It’s my most personal piece to date and I’ve used as sources of inspiration my own personal memories of childhood, first love, the sudden passing of my father and the birth of my daughters – these become universal themes that we can all relate to’.
Snapshots premiered at The Place London in January 2013 as part of the Resolution! Dance platform to a full house and received good reviews (see links below).
Produced by Step Out Arts
Choreographer/dancer: Yuyu Rau
Composer/piano, violin, vocals: Liz Chi Yen Liew
Guzheng (Chinese zither), Xiao (flute): Dennis Kwong Thye Lee
Visuals/Video: Suki Mok
Lighting Designer: Chloe Kenward
Sound Designer/Engineer: Øyvind Aamli
Show photographer: David Ball
Flyer Design: Moira Fox
Choreographic/Dramaturg mentor: Kate Flatt
Music Mentor: Tim Jennings
Original concept: Liz Liew
Visuals concept: Yuyu Rau
Producer: Step Out Arts
Fri 26 July 2013 – 7pm Snapshots Showcase – Bedford Fringe Festival, South Bank Arts Centre, Bedford College, Cauldwell Street Bedford, MK42 9AH tickets and info programme notes show pics by David Ball
Fri 26 July 2013 – 1-2pm FREE Chinese Dance Workshop at Bedford Corn Exchange (Howard Room) 13 St Paul’s Square, Bedford MK40 1SL to ticket holders – £2 otherwise. Limited numbers.
Sun 3 Feb 2013 – Musical excerpts from Snapshots, Chinese New Year celebrations at Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA event 11am-5pm info our performances at 12.25pm and 2.55pm
8pm start (first of triple bill, part of Resolution! 2013 dance platform)
With grateful thanks to PRS for Music Foundation. Specials thanks also to Chinatown Arts Space, David Tse, Shihan Barry Mitchell (Yudansha Centre).