Sean invited me to attend the KL Contemporary Music Festival 2009 at SEGI University Collage, Kota Damansar.
I have not encounter any contemporary music before this until that day. Contemporary music is so different from classical, jazz, new age, rock or pop just to name a few.
Unlike most of the other music genres, contemporary music has no beautiful melodies harmoniously composed. It is harsh in sound, out of harmony, aggressive and expressive.
One moment, all performers play with all their strength all together, until their faces turned red and veins appeared; one moment, all performers stop playing and the hall was pin-drop silence.
Hard to visualise? I know. Well, you can try to imagine having some 3-year-old kids on the stage, give each of them a musical instrument and ask all of them to play at the same time. That’s basically how contemporary music will sound like. Just giving example. No sarcasm intended.
Here’s a video from YouTube where you can listen to how contemporary music sounds like.
Sean told me it was an orchestra from Germany, full of anticipation I was. But when the concert begins, I was like “what is this!? Is it going to be like this throughout the concert?”
Apparently, the answer was yes. It was a concert all about contemporary music with performers from Germany and other countries playing music composed by Malaysian composers.
I couldn’t understand a thing at first until the third or fourth piece was played. When I listen to the music carefully, I have come to understand that contemporary music is not about harmonic melodies.
It’s about the impact, sound effect, speed, body movement and expression combined to bring the composer’s message across.
Imagine sitting in the hall listening to the music for 3 hours, I would say it wasn’t really a pleasant or enjoyable moment.
It is rare to have a chance to listen to live contemporary music performance especially in country like Malaysia whose music industry is just skin deep compare to the western countries.
Although contemporary music is not my cup of tea, but it’s good to have the chance to experience the unseen facet of the music world.