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Confessions on the Edge

Instrumentation: Choral Theatre - Yat Po Singers

Duration: ca. 35'

Lyricist: Various English and Chinese poems (adopted by David Ho-yi Chan)

Language: English, Latin, Hong Kong Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese

Composition Date: 2017.05

Première Date: 2017.06.24

Première Artists: Yat Po Singers

Remark: With sponsorship from CASH Music Fund, this piece is commissioned by Yat Po Singers for 2017 Double Bill: Sing While We Can. The production is the extension of 2015 International a cappella Composition Festival organised by Yat Po Singers.

Programme Notes:

Confessions on the Edge is my second theatre production written for Yat Po Singers. After valuable experience from last time, I wish this new work would leave a deeper experience to you all.


In the past two to three years, I frequently travel between London and Hong Kong, due to various composers' conferences and conducting engagements (such frequency gives no opportunity for me to visit any salon in London). Since I am exceedingly not used to recent years of life in Hong Kong, I truly feel like more being a tourist whenever I come back to Hong Kong from England. With my working experience at churches in London, I am getting even more attached with British culture than usual. Naturally, creation of this new theatre is infused with my odyssey in two cities.


Scenes of this theatre are constructed from various kinds of issues and emotions experienced. Though the work eventually reveals my interests in British and Chinese poetry, I did not deliberately think of any particular topic and material at the beginning. Still, quotes by Charles Dickens, William Blake, William Barnes, William Shakespeare, John Keats, John Donne, Xue-qin Cao, He Li, Chi-mo Xu... imperceptibly become parts of the work. Whilst some of them are adopted along political implications, the overall context keeps a certain distance from politics. With  (classic) poetry and comedy of current affairs, I hope my work would bring more philosophical thoughts to our life.


As a theatre with hybrid musical styles, the work integrates elements of popular music, a cappella, musical, new age music, contemporary music and field recordings into one. Along familiar musical languages in most scenes, I aim to revitalise the impression of general public on adventurous music as as a form of comical theatrical music. Ultimately, it would widen the musical scope of theatre.


This is my contemporary tale of two cities,  "For those who follow my footprint, I'll be with my... and under my footprint....  and him!"

(Translated from the introduction of "Resurrecting Grass" by Meng-tigh Chou)

On the flight from London to Hong Kong

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