Thoughts on Singapore Music
What are your thoughts on the development of the local music scene vs other Asian and Western countries?
Singaporean music is a developing and growing genre, and I think that we are in an exciting stage of growth where we are exploring and finding our own sounds.
We are a very young country compared to others, but Singapore’s music scene is already brimming with lots of talented musicians!
Where does Singapore stand? How do we develop more talent?
In Singapore, I find that there is a steady growth in the appreciation, participation and support for the arts.
Many arts groups are always actively conducting outreach to the public, making it an integral part in their programmes.
To develop more talent, I think it comes down to exposure and engagement. Both young children and adults can engage in the different art forms - go out and seek out activities, classes, interest groups etc. Start now, if something piques your interest, don’t hesitate or wait for the right time. It’s never too young or old for anyone to participate in the arts.
It is also important to emphasise the hard work that goes into every type of art form. Engage persistently, practice, and work hard at your craft. The end results are what people see as “talent”. :)
What do you think is the importance of learning about Asian music?
Singapore’s music scene is unique, partly because of our geographic location.
We are an Asian country with Asian cultures and traditions, but we are also influenced heavily by popular culture (Western pop, Kpop).
Knowing our roots, where we come from, is fundamental for an artist’s sense of identity.
As a creator, artist, or in my case, a composer, it is important to find a “voice”, a distinctive and unique artistic voice, vision or sound that is informed by our history and upbringing.
What do you hope to see in our local arts scene in the next 10 years?
I feel that the Covid-19 situation has given our arts scene some time to reset and rethink how we present our work and reach our audience.
In the next 10 years, I hope that we will have a thriving and strong number of chamber groups or small music companies that have their own niche areas, and concerts will become more accessible and less “stuffy” as they utilise online platforms for concerts and outreach.
I hope that there will be more collaborations within the artistic community!
About Wynne Fung (Faculty Bio from School of the Arts Singapore)
Wynne received her Master's Degree (Composition) at Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and Bachelor’s Degree (Composition) from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
Her mentors included Oscar Bettison, Roger Brunyate, and Ho Chee Kong. As an educator, she has taught General Music and English at Ngee Ann Secondary School, and English Literature and O-Level Music at Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School.
She has also served as an arts administrator at her alma mater Yong Siew Toh Conservatory.
As a composer, Wynne has collaborated with ensembles such as Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera, I-SIS Trio and Peabody Opera (which produced her chamber opera, House Rules).
She has participated in master classes with composers such as Christopher Rouse, Chaya Czernowin, Dieter Mack, Cecilia Kim and Anothai Nitibhon.
In 2012, Wynne won the ‘Young Singaporean Composer’ award at the inaugural Ding Yi Composium. Her multi-disciplinary work includes composing the original music for Wake, a short film that received nominations for Best Experimental & Best Fiction at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Awards. In 2015, she was part of SG Inspirations, a collective of Singaporean musicians who produced a recital and CD in celebration of SG50.
Besides composing, Wynne enjoys playing the viola and piano. As a violist, she has appeared with local orchestras including Singapore Lyric Opera and The Philharmonic Orchestra. She featured as a soloist performing Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with the Baltimore Baroque Band (alongside Singaporean composer Chen Zhangyi). During her spare time, she enjoys baking and cooking for her family and friends.