Interview With Andy Chia For Night Life – Singapore Stories
CNA938 interviewed Andy during their Singapore Stories segment. During the interview, presenter Eugene Low played tracks from both Andy’s solo performance in Japan, Prana, along with highlights from SAtheCollective’s ETHNI-CITY III: Kali Yuga show.
Eugene asked Andy questions pertaining to how he picked up the Dizi back in primary school, and what he found unique about the instrument. Andy shared that he had a deep fascination and resonance with the Dizi from when he first encountered it, not just with the sound but the simplicity of its bamboo structure, which served as the basis for his artistic impetus.
Andy also shared more about his solo performance in Japan. He came upon this gig after being in Japan with his wife Natalie, who was there at the time for a festival with LittleCreatures. Named “Prana”, which means “breath” – this formed the basis of his whole improvisatory performance. During the performance, Andy used live-looping techniques to create a full sound through his solo performance. He shared that avant garde performance techniques is a very important art form – allowing artists to perform live in an improvisatory setting, without prior preparations; very unlike Western classical music training that involves mainly the replication of music from scores. He also talked about the concept of “flow” – in which the concept of time changes when immersed in a state of experience, and that his team of musicians are always trying to be in the state of “flow”.
During the interview, Andy went into detail about Andy C and the NewHorizons – an experimental music group influenced by various genres of music including rock and gamelan music. He reflected on how he was looking inwards, into what it means for him as a Singaporean who specialised in the Dizi, and how this inspired the formation of this band. He also talked about SA as a music trio, named after the Chinese character, and how it evolved to become SAtheCollective over the years. He also expanded further on the evolution and growth of SAtheCollective, along with his philosophy in creating music, which came with the vision to bring different elements of art together into a single artform.
During the segment, Eugene also dived deeper into Andy’s personal story, from how he proposed to his wife and partner in SAtheCollective Natalie, and the story behind his son Ando’s name, along with how he is showing interest in music, having grown up together with Andy and Natalie in the music scene. Andy also shared about why he only wears black – which is inspired by the essence of Chinese calligraphy ink, and the aesthetic sense of Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Andy also touched briefly about his personal experience working with Chinese composer Tan Dun.
In terms of SAtheCollective’s programmes, Andy shared about their upcoming album to be released next year, which is based on the concept of “three”, rooted in the Asian concept of the power of three. With a total of nine songs in the album (three sets of three pieces), the team aims to go back to the root philosophies of Asian aesthetics, fusing that with modern day rituals. Apart from that, Andy also shared about the residency with an Australian group, with the closed-door performance on 5 October and plans to showcase the production at the Syndey Festival in 2020. He shared that this not only brings artists together, but also helps to forge closer ties between the two countries.
Link to video snippet here