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YOUNG Kar-fai Samson / 楊嘉輝


Electric Kinderszenen

Birth Y: 1979 Birth C: HONG KONG Gender: Male

Dest: Concert

Media Specification: Multimedia concert

Commission: Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Performer(s): Colleen Lee (piano), Adrian Yeung (video)

First perf.: Taikoo Place, 18 June 2010

Duration: 65:00

Perf. Country: HONG KONG

Instruments: piano, interactive video and site specific installation

Prog. notes: Schumann kept a booklet in which he recorded significant events in the lives of his children. Although the booklet is entirely about his children, it is Schumann’s own intellectual concerns as an adult that animates it. In 1846 he wrote, “happy childhood – one lives it anew in one’s children…grief when a good child tells a lie for the first time.” His life-long fascination with both idealizing childhood and lamenting the lost of innocence found musical expression in Kinderszenen (“Scenes from Childhood”). The work was initially met with overwhelmingly negative reviews for being technically too demanding for children, but Schumann defended it by stating that Kinderszenen was actually created “for the adults.” In Schumann’s world, the child and the poet are the same person: the poet is a child in its natural, untainted state. In Electric Kinderszenen I attempted the opposite: I created a set of piano pieces that are technically very straight-forward (note: by my own standard of course, and I am sure Colleen would hardly consider anything technically too demanding), yet it is laden with symbols and references that might be considered “inappropriate” for children. Electric Kinderszenen takes as its artistic point of departure the uncensored versions of the story of Sleeping Beauty by Giambattista Basile and the Brothers Grimm. The fairy tale in its original form is one of a maiden’s sexual awakening, of a journey towards the discovery of human sensuality. Nothing in Electric Kinderszenen would be considered explicit and offensive by the Film Censorship Authority’s standard: enlightenment through one’s body is a beautiful, beautiful thing indeed, I would not want to spoil it by showing fleshes – now that would be childish.

Editor: Ka Lun CHEUNG

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