In 1979, the Hong Kong Urban Council sponsored a concert entirely of my works at the prestigious City Hall Concert Hall. I included a large scale multi-media work called Metamorphosis, using some of my Stanford material, with instrumentalists, dancers, costumes, moving sets and lighting interacting with music. Many people in Hong Kong were hostile towards new music, and my programme involved things unknown to them. I persevered, leaving no stone unturned, and my concert played to an audience of more than one thousand people.
The following are images of the performance record. Click on each image to enlarge. The complete book is also available as a PDF file which may be easier to read.
New 21 Aug 2019 I met Albert Tang during my first year at the Royal Academy of Music, At the time he studied piano privately with Peter Katin. He is multi-talented and we have a lot of common interests. When I had the idea for this multi-media work, Metamorphosis, I asked Albert to be the artistic director and the resulting cooperative effort is shown in my performance record below based on my memories. Because of this I asked Albert to write the following based on how he remembers it. I hope the two accounts show a fuller picture. Please see my music video Waves with Albert Tang playing the piano.
Metamorphosis – Conceptual Idea – Recollection by Albert Tang
When I was approached by my talented composer friend Ho Wai-On about her multimedia Grand Finale project, I was really excited about it. But at the same time I was a bit concerned about my ability to do so as I have no experience whatsoever with stage design at all. Finally, I’ve decided to accept the challenge based on my architectural & musical trainings.
It took me quite sometime to think of the best solution to such a complicated brief. The whole piece was around 30 minutes long and was consisted of eight different sequences or scenes, each representing a different stage of the Metamorphosis transformation. The whole piece was to be presented in a multimedia format including music, visual projection, movements & dance.
One evening, I was thinking deeply in front of my desk while fiddling a small glass prism in my hand, an inspiration came like a shot. I started drawing variations of triangular forms in 3D. Mind you at that time we didn’t have any personal computers, not to mention all those sophisticated graphical tools which we take it for granted nowadays. Very soon the concept materialised and I came up with three triangular structures on casters for mobility. Each façade would serve a different function such as projection screen, aesthetic appearance, texture, enclosed costume changing area, and lastly an entry & exit for the dancers. The most interesting aspect of the design was that due their mobilities, these structures could be arranged in different formation to serve the various requirement and function.
To my utter relief & surprise, my design proposal was met with immense enthusiasm & support from Wai-On. I must add that the final presentation was extremely successful & warmly received.
Metamorphosis performance record by Ho Wai-On 何蕙安《变》的演出記錄