Composers & WorksJet Kye Chong

食 JIAH8
for percussion
Composed for James Knight
First performance: 3 Dec 2021

Performed at the ANAM Set Festival by
James Knight (percussion)

Program note:
(Teochew: jiah8, to eat) - spoken before every meal with elders, inviting them to eat as a symbol of respect. This, and many similar fragments of language and dialect, have been dotted throughout my everyday English since childhood as an Aussie with Singaporean heritage. Beyond such words and phrases however, my affinity with this culture quickly slips. My experience of this liminal identity is codified in 食JIAH8, with material drawn from a recent phone call in Teochew within my family. Meaningless fragments of this melodious language vaguely coalesce into a coherent phrase before dissolving as quickly as they came, leaving a tantalising sensation of identity just beyond reach, like a word on the tip of the tongue.

About the composer:
Jet Kye Chong is a multi-award winning Perth-based composer, percussionist and researcher, whose music has been performed throughout Australia, Asia, Canada and the USA. Chong won the 2018 Ransom Prize in orchestral composition, and the 2018 Scarlet’s Fund award for his string quartet Umbral Orbits. He has been selected for collaborative programs with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Flinders Quartet (VIC), and the Australian Youth Orchestra, plus a composition residency at All That We Are (TAS). Chong’s latest commission by the Irwin Street Collective was recently performed by Shaun Lee-Chen, Catherine Jones and Cecilia Sun, and more commissions are scheduled for premiere this year.

As a percussionist, Chong won the 2017 Malaysia Percussion Festival Performance Prize with his own work Rev 3, and is a two-time winner of the People’s Choice Award for the Vose Memorial Concerto Prize. He has performed with artists including Nigel Westlake, Jan Lisiecki (Canada/Poland) and Emmanuel Séjourné (France) on stages around the world. He held the Principal Percussion position in the 2019 Australian Youth Orchestra International Tour (Europe/China), and in Momentum Chamber Ensemble performances across the country. He has recorded works of Myburgh for Australian and UK labels, and recorded with the Australian Baroque for ABC Classic.

Chong holds a Bachelor of Philosophy in Mathematics and Statistics, and Music Specialist Studies (Composition/Percussion), with First Class Honours. His thesis ‘Predicting Marimba Stickings with Neural Networks’ has led to ongoing work under Dr. Débora Correa alongside other concurrent research.

More info: https://jetkyechong.com/

Photo by Olivia Davies, with Pinata Percussion

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