Karmen Cheung x Alain Chiu
Freespace Mixtape Vol. 1
Karmen Cheung Yuen-tung is a fearless explorer of life, unabashedly questioning universal values of truth, oneness, commitment, peace and love. Her musical performances and inspiring messages are spine-tingling, life-enhancing and memorably poignant.
At 18, she debuted as an independent solo singer. Having performed for audiences in HK, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Tokyo, Macau and Seoul. She opened for Angie Hart from the Australian band Frente! in 2010 at an international music festival. Karmen is a mature performer beyond her years who sings from her heart, true to her spirit and is passionate about creating a new industry sector supporting independent artists with a meaningful message.
A versatile artist and an insatiable learner, she is proud to be part of a new lifestyle paradigm, a new way of being, co-creating and the respectful advancement of humankind, which became her idea of making music.
Alain Chiu is an active composer in the music and multimedia scene of Hong Kong. His music has been performed in concert halls and festivals throughout the world. Chiu’s first multimedia opera, “Fish in the Hand” was premiered in 2015 and is one of the first Western Operas written for Cantonese. He has received commissions by the West Kowloon Cultural Distract Authority, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, Kung Music Workshop, Sotheby’s Hong Kong and by numbers of musicians and groups including the Afiara Quartet, the Ives Quartet and Louis Siu among others. Chiu’s music was performed at the 40th to the 44th Hong Kong Arts Festival, WKCDA Freespace Micro 2013, 2012 Hong Kong Week at Taipei, Jumping Frames Italy Tour, Cannes Film Festival 2013 & 2014 and Guggenheim UBS No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia.
Chiu is the founder of the Trilateral Lab, an experimental performance collective. The Lab is dedicated to challenge existing form and structure of performing arts. It also aims at incorporating new technologies as a way to stimulate and cultivate new ideas. Its inaugural performance, Never Seen, will be premiered in 2017 at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Chiu received his Bachelor of Music degree in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Samuel Clarke Scholarship, where he studies composition with Conrad Susa, David Garner, and electronic music with Alden Jenks. He attended the European American Musical Alliance in Paris directed by Dr. Philip Lasser with scholarship and has participated in masterclass by Jo Kondo. His former teachers have included Cui Shi-Guang and Lane Harder.
Chiu is the recipient of the Schulich Scholarship. He is also the Finalist of the International Music Prizes for Excellence in Composition. Chiu's music was recorded by the Grammy Award winning ensemble Orchestra of Our Time in 2011. The focused topics of Chiu’s music range from psychology, semantics, acoustics, literature, epistemology to current events. He is conducting an ongoing research through a series of works and performances, on how languages (with particular focus on Cantonese) and music can be weaved into one sonic fabric.
When versatile singer-songwriter Karmen Cheung collaborated with composer Alain Chiu at Freespace Happening 2016-2017,they created rich new layers to her songs with the perfect addition of a string quartet. The new arrangements were later recorded for Freespace Mixtape Vol. 1,and Karmen and Alain talk about the experience in our latest video.