A musical without actors

Home-grown electronic band Canvas Conversations (comprising, from far left, Jeff Hue, Lee Bing Xiang, Namie Rasman and Vick Low) and local singer-songwriter Ferry (above) will headline a show together for the first time.
Home-grown electronic band Canvas Conversations (comprising, from left, Jeff Hue, Lee Bing Xiang, Namie Rasman and Vick Low) and local singer-songwriter Ferry will headline a show together for the first time.PHOTO: ESPLANADE
Home-grown electronic band Canvas Conversations (comprising, from far left, Jeff Hue, Lee Bing Xiang, Namie Rasman and Vick Low) and local singer-songwriter Ferry (above) will headline a show together for the first time.
Home-grown electronic band Canvas Conversations and local singer-songwriter Ferry (above) will headline a show together for the first time.PHOTO: ESPLANADE

Sudo, part of the Esplanade's Mosaic Music Series, will feature two local acts performing together in an immersive show

The audience heading down to Sudo, a performance that is part of the Esplanade's Mosaic Music Series, can expect a few new experiences tomorrow.

It is the first time two acts in the home-grown music scene - singer-songwriter Ferry and electronic music quartet Canvas Conversations - are making music and headlining a show together.

In a first for the Esplanade Annexe Studio, the audience will be encircled by six speakers specially set up for the show, while a 20m-long screen featuring live animation by 25-year-old visual artist Aqilah Misuary will surround the stage.

Myriad sounds will come out from each speaker. The whole show is designed to be a fully immersive aural and visual experience.

Ferry, whose real name is Jean Low, says: "We didn't want a typical live show, so we kept asking ourselves, 'How can we do it differently?'. That became our guiding principle."

The 31-year-old first made her name through indie band Giants Must Fall and recently joined electronic act Riot !n Magenta as a guitarist. Last week, she released Words, her debut single as a solo act.

Canvas Conversations' Jeff Hue, 26, adds: "The audience can expect sensations that feel strange but familiar. You will also realise how flat a regular set-up sounds compared with being surrounded by six speakers ."

  • BOOK IT / SUDO FERRY X CANVAS CONVERSATIONS

  • WHERE: Esplanade Annexe Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive

    WHEN: Tomorrow, 10pm ADMISSION: $25 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555) and Esplanade (tinyurl.com/y755jej2)

    INFO: For more details on the other shows that are part of the Mosaic Music Series, go to tinyurl.com/yag8nz9j

The group, which won the National Arts Council's Noise Singapore Award in 2015, released their debut album, In Transit, in June.

The band also include musicians Lee Bing Xiang, 28, and Namie Rasman and Vick Low, both 27. All of them are graduates of Lasalle College of the Arts.

Aside from the array of instruments such as keyboards, synthesizers, cello and guitars, the show will feature the live debut of a new instrument dubbed "Scrappy" which Lee created.

Made from materials such as wood planks, metal rulers and springs, it is played with a bow and makes sounds that Hue likens to that "from a horror film score".

Most of the 70-minute show will feature new music that the two acts came up with together just for the performance.

The songs are linked by a science-fiction-like storyline about the relationships between artificial intelligence and its human creators.

The title of the show, Sudo, stands for "super user do" and is a computer programming term for an overarching master command.

Low says: "It's almost like a musical, but without any actors. The songs will switch between the perspective of two main characters - the artificial intelligence and its creator."

And while it may seem rude to be looking at your smartphone screen during a concert, the audience at Sudo are encouraged to refer to a website (www.sudo.sg) while the musicians are performing.

It features a show guide and lyrics to the songs performed during the show.

Hue says: "We see a lot of people using their phones at gigs anyway, so by having this website, it allows them to interact with the performance."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'A musical without actors'. Print Edition | Subscribe