1:30pm // Since this is my first real posting, I’d like to start by introducing myself. I was born in Guangzhou and raised in Hong Kong. I did not begin studying music till I was twelve, when I picked up the violin quite reluctantly, and began to participate in the school orchestra. Remembering all those crazy fingerings, never understanding the conductor, following the guys sitting in front of me; it was more difficult than anything in this world. So, what would you expect a twelve-year-old would do? Like others of my generation, I listened to pop music with my then expensive mp3 player while riding the bus, out studying, eating lunch, etc. I even thought it was wonderful to have some soft “classical music” in the “background”(!!!) while I was doing something else. As I grew up, I slowly realized that there is something in music that needs my attention. I started to play piano madly and passed the ABRSM grade 8 exam in less than two years. I never thought it was an achievement; (my mum did…) however, this determination of mind marked the beginning of my musical career.
Now, when people ask me to write tons of pop songs and become rich and famous and whatnot, (now is the time of the year when I get these questions because I am currently on vacation in Hong Kong seeing friends and relatives) I often don’t know what to say! The easy answer for most non-musicians is that I compose “classical music”. Well… let me get it right. I compose music that needs attention – music that needs to be listened to. (I am not saying that pop music does not need attention) I do not want my music to be played in a restaurant while people are enjoying their meals; I do not want people to treat my music as soft background music, like the twelve-year-old ME! Studying music is the best choice I have ever made. It has opened my ears to a previously unknown world of sound. Finally, it is not hard to understand and appreciate “classical music”; all it takes is your attention. Like all art, music is about communication. It is hard to speak to your heart if you never respond. Let us open our ears, and I am sure you’ll find that all five of us here at Melos have something to say to you. – Patrick Chan