Digital Composer Archive:

Alan Chan


In this introductory video, Alan tackles the problems of identity and communication in music, explaining how his upbringing in Hong Kong and interaction with artists from other disciplines have shaped his musical philosophy. Come walk with Alan through the Muir woods as we listen to excerpts from his compositions “Sweet Bach” for percussion ensemble and “ACALA” for five Chinese instruments.



The Artist

Artist and choreographer Emily Mast discusses her collaboration with Alan on her installation "Everything, Nothing, Something, Always, Walla!" premiered on March 5th, 2009 at the USC Roski Fine Arts Gallery.



The Poet

Poet Nicky Schildkraut describes the genesis of her poems "Mother's Lament" and "Daughter's Lullaby" and their relationship to Alan's music. The text is inspired by the experience of an adopted Korean child's search for her biological parents. In this video, poet, composer, and performer discuss the process of interdisciplinary collaboration.









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The Performer

Soprano Courtney Huffman talks about the advantages of performing new music and the challenges of scat-singing in Chinese. This video includes excerpts from Alan's songs "A Spirit's Dream" and "California Plate."




In this concluding video, Alan discusses three of his compositions for jazz big band: "Shrimp Tale" "Moving to a New Capitol" and "René's Barcarolle." Here, Alan explains how jazz can be used to reflect his personal experience as well as comment on social issues such as pollution in Beijing.