Tze TOH, a young composer and musician based in Singapore, navigates his way through the concrete walls and gardens of cities in South East Asia (S.E.A) with stories in music.
In his recent performance at the National Gallery Singapore – Gallery Late Night 18th December 2015, Tze brought together a spectacular performance of East meets West music. A fusion, and the projection of chords from each instrument blends in harmony. TO ensemble founded by Tze Toh currently works with 25 to 30 musicians. Nationalities of the musicians include; Hong Kong, India and Japan. Instruments: cello, violins, double bass, piano, drums, etc.
‘TO ensemble is a contemporary fusion group, and as a composer I wanted to start a group that is distinctively Singapore,’ said Tze. In the music industry, Tze was searching for a platform to showcase the identity of Singapore and the unique component of Singaporean-style. Tze has now found his stage and, has found his voice and identity as a composer and a musician for his dreams.
‘Singapore is a place where people meet and live in harmony, and music should share that same idea.’ Tze has also introduced musical instruments such as the Indian-violin and saxophone in his compositions. He continued,’To incorporate sounds from different culture and to create a harmonized piece.’ Tze’s inspirations originate from stories, sounds in the regions of S.E.A, and philosophy and, with an objective to include a touch of humanity.
‘What makes us Human? The advancement in technology and environment and, issues in the world affects the way we live out life, and on how we perceive the world.’ Tze elaborated on the inspirations to music composing.
‘As a musician and a composer, what’s a pause to you? And the importance of it?’ said Lin, the interviewer of this session.
‘Silence is as important as music. It is as similar to talking, a conversation. It gives us and the listener the opportunity to think about what was said, and for the speaker to think about how to start and to end the speech.’ Tze further explained, ‘And to let what had happened sink in.’
Previous Performance TO ensemble performed at the Opening Ceremony of Gardens by the Bay (Marina Bay, Singapore); Journey of Youth Olympic Flame, Singapore; and in Malaysia entitled, ‘Land with No Sun’; etc.
Upcoming Performance TO ensemble will be presenting Land with No Sun II (无太阳地带二) at Esplanade Recital Studio, 27th Feb 2016. It is a third installment of the highly successful Land with No Sun audio-file concert series; Dance of the Earth. It is a production about the future wherefore World War III has made sufficient devastation to planet Earth, and humanity has to rebuild the civilisation to survive.
For further information:
Editor’s note: TO ensemble is formerly known as ‘Tze n Looking Glass’.
Interviewee: Tze Toh
Interviewer and written by: Yuhui N Lin (NY Lin)