Foxconn Frequency (no.3) - for three visibly Chinese performers is a work of "algorithmic theatre" that incorporates real-time game mechanics, piano pedagogy, 3D-printing and poetry.
Three performers work with and against each other as they move through a series of testings and mini-games sourced from piano training. They succeed and fail in real-time, forced to correct their mistakes before they can continue. In each performance, 3D-printers output an object documenting the performer's competency over time.
There are many reasons for the restriction of "one visibly Chinese performer." In music composition, we often specify instruments (e.g for solo violin), but almost never the body itself. By making this distinction, it is the artist’s intention to draw focus to the performer's identity, to engage the eyes as well as the ears, and to bring attention to the “extra-musical,” shifting the mode of audience perception to multiple modalities.
Fully automated and generative, Foxconn Frequency (no.3) is different every performance, ranging from 50 minutes to 80 minutes: an experiment in digital game-mechanics as a way of meaning making in the performing arts.
PROJECT LEAD Remy Siu
CREATORS Hong Kong Exile (Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Milton Lim, Remy Siu) with Vicky Chow, Paul Paroczai, and Matt Poon
PERFORMERS Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Vicky Chow, Matt Poon
TEXT Xu Lizhi (許立志) (1990-2014)
SUPPORTED BY Canada Council for the Arts, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
COMMISSIONED BY PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Canadian pianist Vicky Chow has been described as “brilliant” (New York Times) and “one of our era’s most brilliant pianists” (Pitchfork). The New Yorker wrote [on her recording of Michael Gordon’s SONATRA], “'Sonatra' is a milestone of composition, and Vicky Chow’s recording of it is a milestone of pianism." Her album “Surface Image” composed by Tristan Perich was among the top 10 Avant Music albums in “The Rolling Stone” magazine. As an artist frequently broadcasted on WNYC radio, her recorded work can be found on the 'Nonesuch', 'New Amsterdam', ‘Tzadik’, and ‘Cantaloupe’, labels. Interviews and articles featuring Ms. Chow was published in the Huffington Post, Gramophone, The New York Times, and others. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she is based in Brooklyn, New York and is currently the pianist for Bang on a Can All-Stars. Ms. Chow is a Yamaha Artist.
Natalie Tin Yin Gan
NATALIE TIN YIN GAN (顏婷妍) is an independent interdisciplinary artist specializing in performance and collaboration. She lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Natalie has a double degree in Contemporary Dance and International Studies from Simon Fraser University. Her work has been presented in Seattle, Vietnam, and across Canada. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile. She can also be found working as a dance educator, producer, dramaturge, and community artist.
Pianist and composer Matt Poon advocates music of our time by performing, creating, researching, and improvising. His dedication has granted him awards including first prize and prize for best performance of commissioned work in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, first prize in the American String Quartet Composition Competition, and first prize in the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Open Call for Works. Mr. Poon is a recipient of Canada Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council grants.
As a laureate of the E-Gré Competition, Mr. Poon performed across Canada in a 10-city tour and a debut concert in Italy. The programme included post-1975 Canadian and International solo repertoire with piano interior technique, fixed electronics, voice, gloves, clusters, glissandos, improvisation, graphic notation, and a work composed by Mr. Poon himself. As a former member of Tactus and gamUT, Mr. Poon premiered chamber works by Hong Kong and American composers at the Manhattan-Hong Kong festival and performed chamber works by Canadian and International composers. Mr. Poon was listed on CBC/Radio-Canada as one of the "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 in 2016.”
Mr. Poon holds a M.Mus. in Piano Performance and a M.Mus. in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music, and a B.Mus. from the University of Toronto.
Milton Lim is a Vancouver-based artist. His work is engaged with global politics, the cataloguing/archiving/indexing of public data, and resource allocation. These thematic interests are bolstered by a continued interest in game mechanics, typography architecture, and high-frequency content. He holds a BFA (Hons.) in theatre performance from Simon Fraser University.
He has created works for and performed in various international festivals and venues including PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (Vancouver), CanAsian Dance Festival (Toronto), Carrefour international de théâtre festival (Quebec City), IMPACT Festival (Kitchener), Seattle International Dance Festival, Risk/Reward Festival (Portland), artsdepot (London), Battersea Arts Centre (London), New Theatre Royal (Portsmouth), Strike a Light Festival (Gloucester), and Australia’s Darwin Festival.
Recent performance credits include Gateway Theatre’s King of the Yees at Canada's National Arts Centre and Theatre Conspiracy’s award-winning immersive show: Foreign Radical at CanadaHub (Edinburgh Fringe).
In 2016 he was awarded the Ray Michal Prize for Outstanding Body of Work at the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.
Paul Paroczai is a composer, sound designer, and generative media artist based in Vancouver, BC. His work has been featured in the Push International Performing Arts Festival, the International Symposium of Electronic Arts, FUSE, and the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Competition. He received a BM in Music Composition from UC Berkeley and an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from SFU.
Remy Siu 蕭逸南 (b.1990) is a composer and new media artist based in Vancouver, BC. Recently, his work has involved the construction of automated and variable performance apparatuses that employ light, sound, software, and the body. He is interested in creating friction and stakes between the performer, the interface, and the system through the use of game mechanics and failure. His output spans chamber music, dance, theatre, installations, and audio-visual work.
He actively creates with Hong Kong Exile (interdisciplinary arts company) and Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien (choreographer), and has worked with Vicky Chow, Turning Point Ensemble, Quatuor Bozzini, Centre A Gallery, Pi Theatre, Theatre Replacement, the Western Front, and others.
His work has been presented internationally at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (Vancouver), Sonic Anchor (Hong Kong), CanAsian Dance (Toronto), Centre for New Music (San Francisco), Vancouver Art Gallery, The International Symposium On Electronic Art, MUTEK Montreal, and more.
Remy holds a BFA (Hons.) in composition from Simon Fraser University Contemporary Arts (Vancouver, BC) where he studied with David MacIntyre, Owen Underhill, and Barry Truax. He has also studied with Rodney Sharman.
He is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Hong Kong Exile, and the Co-Director and Manager at the Gold Saucer Studio.
During 2017-2019, he will be one of two Composers-in-Residence with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada). During 2018-2019, he will be Curator-in-Residence at Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong. He has been nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2019.