New Futures: Violet Wong

Welcome to the first post in our blog series “New Futures”.


This series features interviews with a selection of participants who performed in SparkFest 2023. We’ll be exploring their creative practice, future plans and goals, as well as what it will take to achieve them. We’re excited to kick off this series with musician Violet Wong.


Watch Impression & Expression: La Cathedrale Engloutie.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your work in SparkFest? 

As a musician, I often contemplate how to connect my music to the audience and explore different ways to transmit the intended message effectively. Considering this, I believe that collaborating with dancers could be the most effective way to enhance my music performances, as this connection highlights the inherent relationship between dance and music.

In order to create a cinematic effect along with the music, the first idea was to use the recent piano piece I played, “La Cathedral Engloutie,” which is a beautiful narrative program of music. Debussy composed the music based on the myth of the Island of Ys, which depicts the emergence of a submerged cathedral at dawn. The idea of underwater filming immediately came to mind, as I have always been fascinated by the underwater world (despite not being able to swim or dive myself). Moreover, I also rearranged the music, incorporating different percussion instruments such as vibraphones and organs, which gives a strong sense of the narrative.

Looking back on the work what are some moments that you’re particularly proud of?

To be honest, it’s great to collaborate with a professional aerial and underwater dancer (Sarah Dobbs), she is also the founder of a dancing school – Aria Art and Movement. Though we are far apart, as she is based in Mid of England, via the ease of today’s technology we have managed to collaborate successfully.

Indeed, the power of art and music creates a strong bond in connecting our creativity. This remote collaboration has given me confidence to collaborate with artists from different locations, not just limited to the UK but also with artists overseas. In my mind, I refuse to limit myself to any possible challenges.

Could you reflect on a project that you consider a turning point in your career?

The work I presented at SparkFest was my first experience of rearranging classical music and collaborating with a dancer, and it proved to be a meaningful experience. I realised the power of music visualisation through video and how it can enhance the meaning behind the music. This project has motivated me to continue exploring music visualisation in different genres and collaborate with artists from various fields.

My key goals and aspirations for the next stage of my artistic development include collaborating with more artists, such as dancers and filmmakers, in music video productions. As I think about how to transmit a message behind my piano music, I believe it’s true that a visual performance medium, like video, is the best way to understand the deep meaning behind music (so called music visualisation).

What are  some of the key goals or aspirations you have for the next stage of  your artistic development?

As a musician and piano teacher, perhaps I may collaborate with more artists including dancers and/or filmmakers in various music video productions. Not limited to just classical music, but including pop music and childrens music as well. This work may require the use of different software which could require the sourcing of budget. To be honest, I think I will invest more in these areas and perhaps I may even collaborate with production houses or entertainment companies that have similar ideas as mine in the areas of music visualization. 

In order to reach the next stage in your career what do you feel you need to focus on?

I think my main focus would be performance, however, apart from traditional forms, I would like to explore different forms of creativity in my piano music. For example, playing the piano while accompanied by pre-edited soundtracks, or performing with dancers who posses high levels of choreographic skill. I am excited for any interesting ideas.

The most important focus is to strengthen my own musicianship and music production skills, especially audio mixing. However, sometimes beautiful music can be very simple. I think piano performances with cinematic filming in nature can also create a strong sense of human nature and mutual understanding.

Collaboration can often be a catalyst for artistic development. Who would like to collaborate with in the future?

In reality, I don’t have a specific person in mind but I would really like to collaborate with a creative young filmmaker who is innovative and talented. Perhaps making professional and commercial music videos. Moreover, my creativity would also appreciate some wedding videographers that can create customised music videos for wedding couples.

What advice or insights would you share with aspiring creative practitioners?

“Never underestimate your own potential and creativity.” 

My advice to aspiring creative practitioners is to never underestimate your potential and creativity. You should explore different ways to implement your ideas and not limit yourself. Hard work and dedication to your craft are essential for progress in your artistic journey.

What’s next for you?

As for what’s next, Sarah and I are actively seeking more opportunities, including participation in different film festivals to show our collaborative project. Personally, I will continue to incorporate various creative elements into my music. With upcoming piano recitals, I hope to find inspiration and create more videos that complement classical piano music.

Links

Violet’s website: violetwong.com

Aria and Movement’s website: ariamovement.com

Violet’s Instagram: @violetwong_music

Sarah’s Instagram: @sarahjanddobbs

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Posted by the SparkFest team.