MULAN COMPOSERS NOTES:
Photo courtesy of Mr. David Kelly
This year our talented students created original compositions and songs as part of our annual production, ‘Mulan, The Orchid Among the Thorns’. A group of 3 students, Ying Ying Ding, Grade 9, and Yeesun Jung and Hyowon Shon, Grade 10, and one alumni student, Subee Lee created original music to feature as the show’s soundtrack. In addition, five more students from Grade 11 worked on original lyrics and music for the songs. These individuals included Amy Go, Gayeon Koh, Anneke Lee, Heesu Lim and Hysesung Tae. During this process our songwriters had the privilege and excitement of being mentored by singer-songwriter, Mr. Seok Won Ryu and singer, producer, Branksome Hall Asia parent, Ms. Sunzoo Park. The following testimonial was provided by Yingying Ding (G9), one of our composers;
Yingying Ding (G9)
I was honored to be invited to perform and compose for "Mulan". Through the experience of composing, I found it very interesting, because composing is one of my favorite hobbies and I like it very much. Although I liked this process, I also faced some challenges, such as how to express Chinese emotions with Western instruments. My work includes flute, I tried to imagine the flute as a Chinese bamboo flute because these are very similar to each other. I also thought of the timpani as a Chinese drum. By interchanging these instruments, my creative process went very smoothly. During the process of creation, I learned that only if you really love a thing can you complete it well. I hope that more people will hear my work in the future. When I learned that my music was selected as one of "Mulan" show's background music scores, I rejoiced, because this was the first time I composed music entirely on my own, and I think I was recognized. I will never forget this feeling.
Another composer, Hyowon Shon(G10) wrote;
Participating in this show as a composer was an experience that I will always remember. I joined this project on the first day of school this year by sharing the draft of the overture with Mrs. Mór because, from the year before, I wanted to participate in this project somehow. After that day, It was confirmed that my composition would be used in the show. At first, I thought that my work was almost done, but after a while, I realized that it had just begun. In total, I wrote the overture, scene change music for each season as well as the leitmotif of the Korean princess, ‘Yeonhwa’. This revision process was the most challenging part of my journey because I did not have enough time, and it was my first time orchestrating my composition. There were a lot of things that I had to consider in the process of orchestration such as the harmonization, and distributing the melodies to the instrument to best fit that part. Even though it was challenging, I appreciated this opportunity so much since I believe this contribution that I made is a step towards my goal. My dream is to become a professional composer and work with a film and theatre company. The experience this year helped to get closer to my goal. I do not doubt that this year's show will become a memory that I will never forget.