New voice: Chin Ting Chan


Chin describes a recent work ~

I’d like to share with you a piano trio I wrote in the summer of 2012. The piece was recorded by the excellent musicians from eighth blackbird. In the program notes, I wrote:

“Icebergs are irregularly formed, just like almost everything in nature. But if you step back and look at them from a distance, you see a reflection from the water that creates perfectly symmetric images. Thus, asymmetry naturally creates symmetry in a macro point of view. Icebergs is written for a standard piano trio. This piece evokes transparent images of icebergs from different perspectives through the use of both symmetric and asymmetric musical structures in its macro and micro forms.”



The music of Chin Ting Chan has gained recognitions from the Interdisciplinary Festival for Music and Sound Art, Soli fan tutti Composition Prize, American Prize, Mid-American Center for Contemporary Music, newEar contemporary chamber ensemble, Association for the Promotion of New Music, Cortona Sessions for New Music, New-Music Consortium, Portland Chamber Music Festival, MMTA/MTNA, as well as performances throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong. He is a Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellow at the University of Missouri–Kansas City where he also teaches courses in electronic music. His mentors have included Chen Yi, Zhou Long, James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Marilyn Shrude, Burton Beerman, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Brian Belet and Pablo Furman.  He has been a computer music designer at IRCAM, working with Grégoire Lorieux and Carlo Lorenzi on updating the Max patch of Mauro Lanza’s Burger Time (2001).


What is your earliest musical memory that, in looking back, has proved to be significant regarding your career as a composer?

My earliest musical memory happened probably later than most musicians—I remember paying particular attention to orchestral music in movies (mostly Contonese movies), and often forgetting to pay attention to the plot. This was during middle school, and I remember conducting to it as well. Nonetheless, I did not begin formal training until way later.

If relevant, which composer(s) have been the most influential regarding your own work?  If the answer is “none”, please explain.  Has it changed over time?

I have looked to many composers for inspiration, many of which write in styles different from mine, they include, Boulez, Crumb, Furrer, Lutoslawski, Pintscher, etc.

Can you describe your working process, i.e. do you use computer notation software, if so, do you find that it inhibits your process at all, do you have a regular schedule for writing?  What other technology, if any, do you use?

I work in both the acoustic and electroacoustic mediums. For acoustic works, I use a pencil (more importantly an eraser) and a staff paper – I write the entire piece on paper before notating them in Sibelius 6. I do not have a regular schedule for writing music. I only write when I have extra time from school and work, but I do think about my compositions when I am doing other things…

Website | Soundcloud

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