"The formidable doyenne of the avant-garde piano"
The Washington Post on Margaret Leng Tan
A work that sweeps across the senses, Dragon Ladies Don't Weep is a sonic portrait of new music icon Margaret Leng Tan—an evocative exploration of memory, time, control and loss.
New York-based Singaporean pianist Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, serving as muse to giants such as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument. Her stellar career is a touchstone for the past 40 years of experimental musical innovation.
Dragon Ladies Don't Weep combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys and percussion by Tan's long-term collaborator Erik Griswold.
Created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists led by Chamber Made director Tamara Saulwick and performed by Tan, this cross-cultural collaboration is a riveting collage of the forces that have shaped Tan's life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge.
Supported in Australia by the Department of Communication and the Arts; the Australia Council for the Arts; Creative Victoria; The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Asia TOPA, The Robert Salzer Foundation; and in Singapore by the National Arts Council and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
A co-production by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Arts Centre Melbourne via Asia TOPA.
The Studios 2020: Lost & Found
We are familiar with loss in varying shades, from the irritation of losing a favourite pen to the devastation and anger that come with the loss of life or love. Loss, however, is hardly the final word. It exists in tension and symbiosis with "finding"—there seldom is one without the other—and in the middle of these two opposites, we often find hope.
To experience loss is to be human. Yet, the human spirit constantly looks for something in the midst of loss, to create and find something out of what is or was no longer there.
The productions for The Studios 2020 exist within this tension – sifting through the vast lost & found box that is life – collecting and collating its disparate parts, examining our losses, and asking of ourselves what we might find in losing something.